NotCo business chief talks artificial intelligence, new products and LATAM expansion challenges

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags plant-based vegan start-ups

We talk to the head of business development at plant-based start-up NotCo about artificial intelligence-driven NPD, challenges in expanding to Brazil and which categories it plans to launch.

FoodNavigator-LATAM caught up with Giulia Braghieri, head of business development at Chilean plant-based start-up NotCo at Food Tech Summit in Mexico City.

NotCo’s mayonnaise is made with chickpeas while its milk is based on cabbage and pineapple concentrate – something Braghieri recognizes is somewhat “outside of the box” - ​but that is all down to the company's artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithm. 

“We have an algorithm called Guiseppe […] that has a database with more than 400,000 plants,"​ she said. "He analyses the animal-based product at a structural level and then gives us a variety of formulas that we replicate in our laboratory with our chefs.”

“The reaction between both of them leverages lactone which gives a mouthfeel sensation of milk. We also use aromas to get a similar [taste] to milk, and all of them are natural.”

If your aim is to disrupt the food sector and make plant-based products the norm, it may seem strange to start with mayonnaise, a condiment that doesn’t make up a massive part of people’s everyday diet. But NotCo had its reasons.

“It’s a Chilean founded company and Chile is the third country that most consumes mayonnaise in the world per capita so it made sense to start with this category. It’s also a low entry category when you think of investments in factories.

The next entry we wanted to do was milk because it’s a huge market in all the countries we were looking at – Brazil, Argentina and Chile. And after we had the milk, anything that derives from milk was the next no-brainer for us.”

Watch the video to find out more.

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