Politics & Law

NotCo Challenges Dairy Allegations in Court: 99% of Consumers Know it’s NOT MILK

In a recent appeal against a court ruling prohibiting the use of the NotMilk trademark in Chile, NotCo presented a study by Cadem, showing that most consumers understand that NotMilk is a plant-based beverage despite its branding and packaging displaying the word “milk,” reports La Tercera.

Cadem, the country’s leading market research and public opinion company, demonstrates in its Analysis of the reception of the NotMilk product by consumers in Chile that only 0.1% of participants believe that NotMilk comes from a cow.

The legal battle began in late 2020 when the dairy farmers union Aproval (Los Ríos Region Milk Producers’ Association) filed a lawsuit alleging “unfair competition” and accusing the food tech company of capitalizing on the reputation of milk and confusing consumers.

Last May, the court’s decision favored the dairy union, mandating the cessation of any branding or imagery related to the dairy industry, including cow images or similar dairy symbols. But the Chilean unicorn announced it would appeal. 

“No other than the most recognized and respected Market Research organization in Chile (Cadem ) confirms that no more than 0.1% of consumers think that NotMilk comes from a cow,” shared Matias Muchnick, CEO and founder of NotCo on social media.

notmilk sugar free
© NotCo

It is NOT MILK

Last week, at the court, NotCo presented the marketing report, which analyzed more than 590 face-to-face surveys of men and women over 18 years living in various cities in Chile. 

The analysis shows that a significant majority, 7.9 out of 10 people and 86% of the 18-34 age group, recognize NotMilk as a plant-based beverage. Additionally, the survey demonstrates that despite using “milk” to describe it, participants understood it’s a non-animal product. This was particularly high in NotCo’s primary demographic, which includes individuals aged between 18 and 50. 

On the other hand, the study further highlights that only a negligible percentage of average consumers — 0.1 — consider NotMilk to be cow’s milk, confused by its full presentation (its name, packaging information, and cow imagery). 

According to La Tercera, Cadem’s study concludes that no substantial or evidence-based reasoning suggests that NotMilk deceives or confuses average consumers into believing it is traditional cow’s milk. It remarks that instead of misleading consumers, NotMilk enhances the value of alternative products, offering competition in the marketplace.

NotMilk's campaign on IG
“We leave it clear with this NotMilk campaign” © NotCo

Moreover, NotCo showcased photographs from 49 Chilean municipalities, demonstrating that NotMilk products are displayed separately from milk in major supermarket chains. It also presented its 2020 marketing campaign showing a NotMilk product surrounded by vegetables like peas, cabbage, coconut, and pineapple. “We make it clear with this NotMilk campaign,” says NotCo.

“We had to create a campaign that said so because, apparently, it wasn’t being made clear… The NotMilk: IT’S NOT MILK. It’s a 100% plant-based beverage created by Giuseppe, our artificial intelligence, and the NotCo team,” says NotCo on Instagram.

The Valdivia Court of Appeals is set to issue a ruling on the case, which is likely to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, according to La Tercera.

NotCo has recently been recognized among the 15 Climate Tech Companies to Watch 2023 by MIT Technology Review, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) media company. 

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