NotCo Set To Replace Salmon And Tuna Ahead Of Asian Expansion And Potential IPO
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Chilean unicorn NotCo has announced a host of 2022 plans. Advancing into new markets, including Asia and Oceania, and making waves in the alternative seafood sector are primary objectives. Further, the possibility of a 2023 Nasdaq IPO is being floated.
New developments will follow an exciting close to 2021. Chile’s NotCo recently unveiled NotChicken, created using the company’s proprietary AI, called Giuseppe. New chicken products join milk, mayo, ice cream, and burgers in the NotCo product portfolio. 2022 will see more diversification.
Turning attention to vegan seafood
Speaking with Chilean newspaper La Tercera, CEO Mathia Muchnick addressed the need for seafood alternatives. He noted that the development of salmon and tuna replacements are key directives. Salmon holds particular resonance, as destructive fishing in Chile has caused enormous damage to Muchnick’s home country. The tuna was highlighted in a similarly light. Muchnick talked about the importance of creating products that can make industrial fishing defunct.
As with the NotChicken range of products, future vegan seafood releases will be created using Giuseppe. The company’s in-house AI system allows for plants and vegetables to be analysed for their suitability to replicate tastes and textures. It has proved successful and is being considered for commercial rollout to other companies. It would likely follow a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) model.
In the La Tercera interview, Muchnick acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic slowed the expansion plans that he had for NotCo. He doesn’t see this as a negative, citing that the period allowed for transformation into a fully adaptive and skilled company. Initial plans to enter four new countries in 2021 were reduced to one, namely the United States.
2022 will see global plans realised, starting with Latin America. Muchnick said that consolidation is key, alongside direct operation in Colombia and Mexico. Deeper reach into Canada is planned, with 2,300 distribution channels being turned into 10,000 by year-end. Most notably, moves into Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and China are all confirmed. South Korea is still in progress. There are no current plans for European distribution.
Having already become the first Chilean startup to reach unicorn status, NotCo is laying solid foundations for a potential IPO in 2023. Muchnick noted that although 2021 was a good year for the company, there still remains a number of building blocks to be put in place. An IPO on the Nasdaq is proposed for 2023, but he qualified the prediction, saying that if the circumstances are not right, it will not be rushed.
Riding the wave of seafood alternatives
Vegan seafood demand is on the rise. As consumers gain insight into the harmful practices connected to the fishing industry, alternatives are being sought out.
Madrid’s Mimic seafood recently announced that it accomplished three primary goals in 2021 and is ready for expansion. Its signature Tunato offering replaces raw tuna in sushi applications. The company relaunched last year after closing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Founded with bootstrapped funding, it has since opened a pre-seed round to allow for faster growth.
Big names are getting involved with vegan seafood, globally. Starbucks Hong Kong revealed a partnership with Green Monday in November. The move saw vegan crab cakes from the OmniSeafood range being served as part of a salad. Most recently, Starbucks U.K. announced the launch of its vegan Tu’NAH sandwich to coincide with Vegnuary.