Can plants replace the animals in our diet? Livestock accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, uses almost 80% of worldwide agricultural land (including cropland for animal feed), and consumes 10% of annual available freshwater. Yet livestock provides less than 20% of humanity’s calories. If innovators could make plants taste like actual dairy and meat, would enough people eat them to make a difference for climate change?
NotCo CEO Matías Muchnik joined the SOSV Climate Tech Summit (Oct. 25-26) to discuss how his company’s plant-based dairy and meat might out compete livestock. A food tech unicorn based in the U.S. and Chile, NotCo and its proprietary AI, named Giuseppe, have engineered a plant-based milk claimed to taste, cook, and blend just like cow’s milk. And it’s on grocery shelves today. See what Muchnik had to say about it below.
A graduate of SOSV’s IndieBio program, NotCo has raised over $350 with investors ranging from Tiger Global and DFJ Growth to Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, tennis player Roger Federer, and the musician Questlove. Through partnerships with Burger King, Shake Shack, SmashBurger, Starbucks, and Kraft Heinz, NotCo aims to change eating habits at scale.
We asked Muchnik whether we have reached peak milk and what comes next. Can Giuseppe develop other plant-based animal products that match the real thing on not just taste and price, but nutrition? What will it take for plant-based foods to put a dent in emissions?
Interviewing Matias Muchnik was Amanda Little, writer in residence at in the English and CSET departments at Vanderbilt, where she teaches investigative journalism and science writing. She is the author of The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World (Random House: Crown/Harmony), which explores how we’ll feed humanity sustainably and equitably in the climate change era.
Matías Muchnick is the CEO and founder of NotCo, the international plant-based food tech company founded in Chile that is now the fastest growing food tech brand in Latin America. At just 32 years old, Muchnick has led the company to success on a global scale, having achieved unicorn status at a valuation of $1.5 billion in 2021.