Politics & Law

NotCo Fights for NotMilk Trademark Following Dairy Lawsuit in Chile

Yesterday Chilean giant NotCo announced that in the next few days, it will appeal against a ruling prohibiting the use of the NotMilk trademark in Chile. 

At the end of 2020, Aproval, the Valdivia dairy farmers union, filed an “unfair competition” lawsuit to the 1st Civil Court of Valdivia, accusing NotCo of taking advantage of “milk’s prestige.” 

Aproval argued that NotMilk’s advertising strategy uses the word milk to sell its product and, at the same time, disqualifies natural milk, saying it is harmful to health and the environment.

The court, which ruled in favor of the dairy union, ordered the “cessation and prohibition of the use of any mark, labeling, distinctive or image, of any nature (whether on the packaging of its product or in advertising material) containing a cow or any figure typical of the dairy industry, incised, inverted or in any other way altered,” reports local media outlet La Tercera.

NotCo Argentina
© NotCo

Chile’s food industry resisting change

Recently, the Chilean company launched a marketing campaign in Argentina called NotCow, encouraging consumers to switch to cruelty-free, healthier, and more sustainable alternatives.  

“At NotCo, the challenge has always been to develop with a high level of precision the products we traditionally consume, but plant-based and more sustainable. We seek to be an engine of innovation capable of bringing the products that have always accompanied us and that with us all Argentines can change our daily lives for ourselves and our planet,” Matias Latugaye, CM Argentina of NotCo, said at the campaign’s launch.

But Chile’s plant-based industry is battling a food industry fiercely resisting change. In April, Chile‘s government passed a bill to redefine the concept of meat and prohibit meaty terms in plant-based foods. 

notmilk sugar free
© NotCo

Reinventing the food industry

NotMilk’s range will continue to be available at retailers nationwide (Chile) “during the entire time” of appealing the process, announced NotCo. The vegan milk range includes original, low-fat, chocolate, coffee-caramel, NotMilk Zero, and high protein

Last November, the plant-based company expanded to the cheese segment, launching for the first time NotCheese slices in Chile. This NPD joined the company’s animal-free portfolio: NotMilk, NotBurger, NotIcecream, NotMayo, and NotChicken. Some of NotCo’s products retail across Latin America, in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Ecuador. 

With an estimated valuation of $1.5 billion, NotCo achieved Unicorn status in 2021. It has raised over $350M in funding (investors include Jeff Bezos) and has achieved B Corp certificationSince its establishment, this unicorn trailblazer has reaffirmed a strong commitment to people, the environment, innovation, and the reinvention of the food industry.

“We have reviewed in detail the consequences of the ruling together with our legal team. Our company will present in the next few days, under the protection of the law, the corresponding appeal with the objective of reversing the pronouncement of this first instance, so that it can be reviewed by the Court of Appeals of Valdivia”, NotCo told La Tercera.

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