Chilean giant NotCo has unveiled the first pizza topped with a NotChicken innovation, the Vegan BBQ Shot, and it’s available at all of Papa John’s locations in Chile starting this week. A NotCo pop-up restaurant is popping up in Argentina, while this week the Unicorn company announced its focus areas for 2023.
CEO and founder Matias Muchnick, who was recently named the 2nd Most Disruptive CEO in Latin America, was discussed yesterday the company’s 2023 plans inside Interview with Bloomberg Linea. DF SUD, an online media specializing in the Latin American business, also covered the food tech’s 2023 plans and reported on the first plant-based restaurant in Argentina.
1. Staying Profitable
Muchnick had to make strategic decisions, such as pausing product developments and some product expansions planned for Europe and Asia, to face the industry’s downturn due to the global economic crisis.
“In this new scenario, it will be necessary to be ‘super rational’ because 2024 is predicted to be a better year than 2023,” Bloomberg told Línea. Muchnick also announced that NotCo’s 2024 Initial Public Offering (IPO) targets have changed. “The market is not there,” DF told SUD.
2. Focus on plant-based cheeses
The startup surprised consumers this month with the launch of NotCheese, the first cheese product available exclusively in Chile. Food tech, which had previously planned to launch tuna and salmon alternatives, says as part of its 2023 strategy, the company has decided to focus on R&D in the plant-based cheese category, “as 95% of consumer demand is for cheese.”
He added that the joint venture with Kraft Heinz presents a great opportunity to forge alliances with other mass consumption companies interested in offering milk alternatives.
“We will expand our product lines. We just launched a protein milk in Brazil that did incredibly well, and we’re going to go into that category to explore more, maybe snacks, but high in nutrients,” Bloomberg told Línea.
3. Local Expansion
It has already begun to focus on local expansion rather than targeting international markets; NotCo announced today that it has partnered with Chile’s number one pizza chain, Papa John’s, to launch Vegan BBQ Shot, a 100% vegan pizza featuring NotChicken chunks, vegan cheese, onions, olives, and barbecue sauce.
“Our priority since NotCo’s inception has been to innovate and reinvent an industry that invites us to rethink how we feed ourselves. “We chose to produce Plant Based products because we know we can significantly reduce pollution by removing the animal from the equation, and it’s an honor to share these values and principles with a giant like Papa John’s.”
4. Regional initiative: NotSpot pop-up restaurant
According to DF SUD, NotCo opened its first pop-up restaurant in Argentina, called NotSpot, and offers its customers a 100% plant-based menu made with alternative meat products. The menu included starters, main courses, desserts and cafeteria service.
Matías Latugaye, country manager for NotCo Argentina, said that NotSpot meals have an average of 80% less impact on CO2 emissions than the same menu based on animal protein.
“The idea of this pop-up is to bring people the most delicious and simple foods that are 100% plant-based and made from NotCo products. So they can see how versatile they are and you can have delicious plant-based foods,” he said.