Chilean foodtech NotCo will launch its line of products made with artificial intelligence, ranging from dairy products to vegetable meat. The strategy
In the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Villa Crespo, an area where previously there were tanneries and a few meters from Murillo Street, the quintessential leather sales corridor, a company launched its line of groceries that, at first sight, come from cattle.
But it is only the appearance: these are replicas of mayonnaise, milk, ice cream and even hamburgers made 100% from plants thanks to the "magic" of artificial intelligence.
NotCo, the foodtech company (food, food; tech, Chilean technology) that received $ 30 million of investment, neither more nor less than from Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, set foot in Argentina.
As advanced exclusively iProUP, the "mayonnaise 4.0" of the firm is already produced in the country through a local partner with a factory in northern Conurbano and the 350 gram pot is sold at 150 pesos.
The company now goes for more and presented its complete line in society. Its objective is not only to target the vegan or vegetarian public, but also those who seek healthy eating.
It is a negligible market at all: it already monopolizes 29% of Argentines (about 12 million people), against the 24.5% it represented a year ago, according to calculations by Kantar World Panel. In addition, this segment is less price sensitive, as it prioritizes the quality of food.
In fact, NotCo opted for all or nothing and made an exclusive tasting of which it participated iProUP of several of its products – among them, its vegetable hamburger – in Argentina, one of the countries with the greatest "passion" for beef cuts in South America, before doing so in its native country.
The NotBurger reproduces the flavor, aroma, texture and thickness of a gourmet gourmet "palermitano" burger
Its principles are based on reducing the intake of ingredients of animal origin will result in the prevention of chronic diseases and greater care of the environment. Therefore, experts are convinced that the future of human food will be in vegetables.
In this sense, the UN called to reduce the raising of cattle, which would lower the world water expenditure by 20%, carbon emission would decrease by half and up to three quarters of the land dedicated to agriculture could be converted into forests that neutralize The greenhouse effect.
And just as Bezos bet on the Chilean startup, Bill Gates, the second richest man on the planet, invested in the three main rivals from the Silicon Valley:
– Impossible Foods, whose vegetable meat medallions are sold at 7,200 Burger King stores in the US and it's worth $ 3,000 million. It is also supported by actor Leonardo Di Caprio
– Just Mayo, which offers vegetable egg substitutes, both liquid and powder
– Beyond Burger, the spoiled girl on Wall Street, who on her exit to the stock market grew 650% and her valuation exceeds $ 10 billion.
The latter, already plans his arrival in Argentina, so NotCo "marked the court" with a line of products that, as they promise, will revolutionize the local market.
"In Argentina, 27% of deaths are due to poor diet," says Matías Muchnik, CEO and co-founder of NotCo, who adds: "Nobody can believe that using pineapple and cabbage can leave a flavored vegetable milk milk".
According to Muchnik, this "is not the best moment in Argentina," after the sharp devaluation that accentuated the nation's consumption crisis, but says that the goal of the firm that leads is to go for "the long term."
The executive advances iProUP what will be the next releases in Argentina: milk and ice cream, which will arrive from November, but will have to wait until the end of the year or early 2020 for the meat medallion.
"The hamburger is more difficult because we still have to register it in the registry, which takes about three months. And then get the local partner to make it," he trusts iProUP.
The NotIceCream is made from peas. Will arrive in Argentina before the end of the year
With regard to prices, Muchnik assures iProUP which will be about 20% more expensive than that of its "beef" competitors. But the idea is to "achieve scale" to be able to approach such amounts.
In fact, the lack of availability of raw materials threatens this first stage of the business, something that the firm lived with the NotMayo, in which lupines were one of the main ingredients.
"We had quality and quantity problems. The producers were very small, so they had no certifications or standards. Now it is only made with chickpeas," says Muchnik, who says that a producer in Cordoba provides this legume for factories in Chile and Argentina
Matías Muchnik trusts iProUP that NotCo products will reach the US Whole Foods. at the beginning of 2020
In albiceleste lands, they are also closing alliances with fast food chains, a strategy that began Impossible Foods and then continued Beyond Meat.
"In some days we will make a very strong announcement on the subject. Not only here and in Chile, but in Colombia, Peru and other countries in the region," the director complements.
Although the original roadmap contemplated stepping on Mexico and then expanding to the US, NotCo has strengthened its relationship with Bezos, which reversed the order of priorities and put on the table a very auspicious market opportunity.
"The average amount of cow's milk is higher than in South America, so it can be sold at a price closer to that of almond milk," says the entrepreneur.
The NotMayo is produced in Argentina and Chile from chickpeas grown in Córdoba
But also, Amazon She owns Whole Foods, a health food store, which is the ideal mouth of the Notco portfolio.
"Jeff has the fully developed online and offline channel, but he does not have the product. He puts the marketplace and we the products. We will arrive in early 2020, because the 30 'sticks' may not be enough to prepare the launch," he jokes. Muchnik
With regard to communication with Bezos, the CEO of Chilean foodtech ensures that the richest man in the world allows him to "do what he wants" and remarks that a single call from the owner of Amazon it may be enough for your products to be in the gondolas of Whole Foods.
As anticipated iProUP, the NotCo hamburger could be anticipated by Beyond Burger: the Chilean firm Protteina Foods, which is dedicated to the distribution of vegan products and holds the license to market in the trans-Andean country, points to Argentina, Peru and Uruguay.
"We started in Chile 2 years ago. In a couple of months we will have our products in Peru. And before the end of the year they will see each other in Argentina, despite the exchange rate escalation," he says. iProUP Sandra Porcile, CEO and founder of Protteina Foods.
For this operation, the company is establishing a company through which they will sell the vegetable meat that breaks records on Wall Street. They hope to repeat the success of Chile: three months ago they started in Jumbo and grow at a monthly rate of two digits.
"The sale has been good everywhere, even in those lower income neighborhoods. At the beginning, we launched hamburgers, minced meat and nuggets," Porcile anticipates.
Protteina Foods will also compete in Argentina with Daiya dairy substitutes (cheeses and yogurts). In addition, Beyond Meat analyzes the possibility of manufacturing locally.
Although Porcile does not dare to specify how much its products will cost in albiceleste gondolas, he discovers that they will be more expensive than in his country. "In matters of transport and storage, the costs are similar. But Chile has no import tariffs and Argentina does," he adds.
In this way, it is estimated that they could cost 30% more than in the neighboring country, so that the values in the supermarkets would be the following:
– Beyond Burger: $ 520 for two medallions (total weight, 227 grams)
– Beyond Meat Sausage: $ 950 for four chorizos (400 gr)
– Daiya Pepperoni Style Pizza: $ 930 (472 gr)
With an MBA from the University of Michigan and experience as an executive at Nike, Nestlé and Cencosud, Porcile travels frequently to the US. and established a relationship with the founders of several companies that manufacture food "4.0".
It highlights that the firm has the "know-how" to sell these items that not only have to do with meat and dairy products, but also Just's vegan egg. In a second stage, the "powder" version will arrive in Argentina, since the liquid requires more cooling.
Having a complete veggie portfolio, Protteina Foods supplies its products to Chilean fast-food chains Domino, Danish, Maestranza and BennysFries. And the same will do for these pampas.
"We sell the complete 100% vegetable solution: the hamburger, the cheddar, the bread, the nuggets. And not only to vegan stores, but also to those who sell meat. We are talking with hamburgers in Argentina since the beginning of the operation in the country, "Porcile advances to iProUP.
According to the executive, these products are not for vegans, but "are focused on the 'carnivores', who seek the same experience."
"The meat is composed of water, protein and fat. We eliminate the cow and use healthier fats. The goal of our company is to generate that change and contribute," he says.
Argentina, one of the world's leading food producers, is preparing for the "fork revolution" that is driving artificial intelligence. The key will be to use technology not only to see how to produce more, but also how to nourish better.