American food group Kraft Heinz and food tech start-up TheNotCompany (NotCo) have announced a collaboration aimed at reimagining global food production and advancing towards a more sustainable future.
The joint venture, which will operate under Kraft Heinz as The Kraft Heinz Not Company LLC, will look to leverage the strengths of both companies.
The partnership will benefit from NotCo's patented technology and proven AI solutions and Kraft Heinz will offer its brand portfolio and scale, to develop plant-based versions of co-branded products.
Both partners aims to accelerate the adoption of plant-based foods.
While interest in plant-based foods is surging, barriers in taste, variety, and availability remain, Kraft Heinz noted.
NotCo has made progress in addressing these consumer needs by developing plant-based replacements for animal products with simpler ingredients utilising technology and an agile approach to innovation.
"The joint venture with TheNotCompany is a critical step in the transformation of our product portfolio and a tremendous addition to our brand design-to-value capabilities," said Miguel Patricio, CEO of Kraft Heinz.
"It helps deliver on our vision to offer more clean, green, and delicious products for consumers. We believe the technology that NotCo brings is revolutionising the creation of delicious plant-based foods with simpler ingredients," Patricio added.
"When we started NotCo, it was our goal to make our technology a catalyser for a more sustainable food system not only for us, but for other brands and manufacturers who share the same ambition," said Matias Muchnick, co-founder and CEO of NotCo.
"Today is an exciting milestone for the plant-based industry and shows the power of technology’s role in driving mainstream adoption. We’re thrilled to partner with Kraft Heinz and their iconic brands and work hand-in-hand on building a more sustainable food system," Muchnick said.
Kraft Heinz Not Company
The collaboration will be headquartered in Chicago with research and development facilities in San Francisco and will focus on plant-based innovation across numerous Kraft Heinz product categories, the food giant added.
Lucho Lopez-May, who currently serves as CEO of NotCo's North American unit, will step in as CEO of the joint venture.
Previously, Lopez-May was the CEO of Garland Food, and prior to that, president of strategic growth channels at Danone North America.
In partnering with NotCo, Kraft Heinz aims to leverage its manufacturing and commercial capabilities, through the scale of its global food brands, to set a new standard for plant-based innovation.