Starbucks Sells Plant-Based Meat, Milk From Bezos-Backed Firm
(Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp. has added new plant-based items in Chile as the world’s largest coffee chain expands its vegetarian menu.
The chain’s more than 130 locations in the country, which are operated by Mexico’s Alsea SAB, are now selling products from NotCo SpA, the companies said.
The offerings, which became permanent menu options on Sept. 22, include a non-dairy milk alternative and sandwiches made with faux beef.
Chile is a “good experimental test market,” said Matias Muchnick, NotCo’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “If you do well, the U.S. can pick it up.”
Starbucks is pushing non-dairy milk in other markets including China, where it has roughly 5,100 stores. The company recently said oat milk will be the default option for many drinks at a new “Greener Store” in Shanghai. It rolled out oat milk from Oatly AB in the U.S. in March, but quickly encountered a supply shortage.
NotCo, based in Santiago, Chile, offers plant-based versions for a range of animal-based products across South America and in the U.S. It’s valued at $1.5 billion after a series D funding round in July, according to PitchBook. Investors include billionaire Jeff Bezos, restaurateur Danny Meyer and tennis great Roger Federer.
Starbucks is “responding to the great interest of customers in plant-based food,” said Claudia Aburto, general manager of Starbucks Southern Cone, in a statement.
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