Contxto – It took an eternity in startup time. It was over nine months for this plant-based baby to finally see the light after we first heard rumors about it in 2019.
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What’s interesting about this launch is the form rather than the content. Rather than going the whole hog on their own, the folks at NotCo have opted to present their first plant-based meat substitute product via an alliance with another company.
This lucky corporation is none other than pizza consortium, Papa John’s.
Pie in the sky
This alliance is an interesting turn of events. Perhaps as a sort of soft launch, NotCo seems to be sharing the thunder it will be creating with its first-ever meat-alternative in exchange for getting a helping hand in terms of distribution.
I am of course assuming that the use of pizza as a delivery vehicle for its wares is chiefly about distribution for NotCo, since this is a company that surely does not need much promoting. I mean, recently they had Tony Stark himself vouching for these vegan veterans.
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So, maybe we should expect some standalone veggie steaks sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, the incentive on Papa John’s side of the equation is pretty evident.
In the words of Martín Cumplido, Sub-Director of Marketing at Papa John’s Chile “the exploration of these new groups of consumers [vegans]… has led us to see increased growth projections within the first days of sales.”
Either way, these vegan pizzas will soon be all across Papa John’s more than 100 venues all over Chile. The pizza that will feature NotCo’s plant-based meat will be The Vegan Royal, complete with US-sourced vegan cheese.
From lab to table
For those keeping count, Not Meat is the fourth product to come out of the Chilean startup. Before it came the self-explanatory likes of Not Mayo, Not Milk, and Not IceCream.
For those not keeping count, let me remind you that NotCo uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to replicate the nutritional value, smells, tastes, and sounds of animal products in plant-based forms.
Much like Not Meat’s exclusive existence within Papa John’s emporium for now, NotCo’s other products are thus far only available in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.
As a disinterested journalist I can only say this: please, please come to Mexico next NotCo.
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