Bezos-Backed Brand NotCo Expands AI-Produced Plant Milk Distribution
The plant-based milk industry is showing no signs of slowing, with new innovative products hitting the shelves of major grocers every day. Plant-based milk companies like the Jeff Bezos-backed plant-based startup NotCo and Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. are expanding at ‘record speed’ and entering distribution partnerships with big box retailers like Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc., Wegmans, and Walmart Stores Inc. NotCo, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create milk and dairy alternatives, has expanded its product’s reach to over 3,000 stores in the US since its launch and plans to increase to 8,000 by the end of 2021.
Meanwhile, Else Nutrition has extended its offerings to over 900 locations including Sprouts, Big-Y, Raley’s, Natural Grocers, AFS, Haggen, PCC, Mother’s Markets and online retailers iHerb, Thrive and Amazon. At the same time, plant-based meat companies like Tattooed Chef, and Beyond Meat, Inc. are taking advantage of this growing market opportunity through key distribution deals to facilitate wider consumer access to plant-based meat and dairy alternatives.
Toddler and children nutrition company Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. has signed an online sales agreement with Walmart.com. This partnership will give Else Nutrition the opportunity to expand into Walmart’s e-commerce platform by Q4 2021 with its plant-based complete nutrition products for toddlers. Walmart is the US’s largest retailer and has continued to increase its ecommerce sales during the pandemic, offering Else exposure to its large community of shoppers.
According to Hamutal Yitzhak, CEO and Co-Founder of Else Nutrition, the new deal with Walmart.com is a huge step for the company. “The sheer size of Walmart.com will help us reach thousands of new families and enable us to scale significantly over the next 3 years.”
Else Nutrition has enjoyed a wide reach on Amazon, where its plant-based complete nutrition for toddler as well as its kids complete nutrition product reached Amazon’s top positions in hot new releases in the baby and toddler formula and kids nutritional shakes categories.
The announcement that Else will be partnering with Walmart comes shortly after Else Nutrition launched two new product lines to the market: complete nutrition, plant-powered protein shakes for kids and announced its coming launch of its clean plant-based nutrient-dense cereals for babies 6 months and older.
Major Plant-Based Companies Partner with Retailers to Bring Their Innovations Closer to Consumers
Plant-based companies are working to meet consumer demand and their willingness to try new innovative plant-based animal protein alternatives. As this interest grows, retailers such as Walmart are stocking their shelves with various plant-based offerings.
Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. recently announced it would open a new store in Buford. The new store adds to more than 300 of Sprouts stores across the country and brings the company closer to achieving its goal of opening about 20 stores in 2021. In addition to bringing organic and plant-based foods closer to its customers, the new store will create around 65 employment opportunities for the local community. The company also plans to donate fresh produce that is fit for consumption but not for sale to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Walmart Stores Inc. is also partnering with plant-based companies through distribution deals. Walmart has distribution agreements with big plant-based food alternatives including Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. The company recently expanded its partnership with Beyond Meat, allowing Beyond Meat to bring its products across Walmart’s 2,100 stores across the country. This expansion makes it the second major expansion for Beyond Meat in Walmart in 2021. Other plant-based food and beverage brands available on Walmart include Gardein, Field Roast, Hellman’s, MorningStar Farms,and Healthy Choice.
Tattooed Chef has partnered with Kroger to bring a series of its SKUs in approximately 1800 of Kroger’s stores to allow consumers to access their favorite plant-based alternatives. Among the products Tattooed Chef will bring to Kroger’s stores include, cauliflower mac and cheese bowl, cauliflower pizza bowl with plant-based pepperoni, veggie hemp bowl , buddha bowl, enchilada bowl, plant-based burrito bowl and gochujang chow mein. Consumers can access the new brands of Tattooed Chef’s products by September in nearly all of Kroger’s stores across the country.
Beyond Meat, Inc. is expanding its partnership with A&W Canada to distribute it’s new line of plant-based nuggets for a limited time starting August 9, 2021. Beyond Meat has previously collaborated with A&W Canada to distribute its products to the Canadian consumer. This partnership is a significant milestone for Beyond Meat as it coincides with the increasing demand for plant-based meat that matches the taste and texture of animal meat.
With more consumers embracing plant-based alternatives, companies in the plant-based milk and meat sectors are seeing the value of expanding their retail presence to reach more consumers. Else Nutrition has expanded its retail presence in major platforms like Amazon and is now expanding to other retailers such as Walmart.