Peruvian healthy brand keeps prices low with artificial intelligence12 May 2023
Nutri Co uses artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce product formulation time, allowing it to offer healthy products with local ingredients at a low cost, serving the price-sensitive Peruvian market.
Founded in 2017, Nutri Co, based in Lima, has a portfolio of 47 products including shakes, energy bars, cereals, oats, plant-based meats, cookies, and crackers.
According to Carlos Noceda, co-founder and co-CEO, price is always at the forefront of Nutri Co’s objective, with one of the prime considerations when entering a category “is to verify where we are among the premium leaders.
“We seek to have a similar or better proposal to them […] but with a 40% or 50% lower price. That is where we position ourselves”, he explains.
Nutri Co says it can drastically undercut the big food firms because of its new product development process. Nutri Co’s AI algorithm, dubbed Virgilio, selects the optimal combinations of ingredients to suggest a recipe or formula in a process that takes minutes instead of the industry norm of six to 12 months.
“Thanks to our technology we can do it in four months, that sets us apart and helps us to launch more and more things,” says fellow founder and CEO Daniel Núñez.
The company also uses Andean ingredients that are familiar and locally sourced. Nutri Co’s line of shakes and smoothies for example contain a mixture of Peruvian-inspired ingredients such as kichiwa (amaranth), quinoa, cañihua (a grain related to quinoa) and tarwi (lupin).
Pictured: Quinoa © AdobeStock/goldnetz
These products contain high levels of protein, minerals and vitamins; and are produced by the high Andean communities that Nutri Co has worked with for five years.
“An objective for us is that more and more Peruvians buy healthy products, without dairy products, without animal products,” says Noceda, speaking to Peruvian national El Comercio.
“And consequently, they are eco-friendly. We want there to be more brands and thus be able to compete with the 95% of the market that have traditional products.”
Nutri Co’s expansion to the US, Colombia, and Chile
Looking ahead, the entrepreneurs have set their sights on expansion, with the US, Colombia and "probably some Latin American country," under consideration for 2024.
Commenting on the Chilean markets, where they hope to have their products available in 50-70 supermarkets and around 100 to 200 convenience stores by the end of the year, Noceda says, “although it is not a market that is considered large in Latin America, its modern channel represents 60% of the food market. In Peru, this is the opposite: the modern channel represents 30%, nothing more.”
"So, for us, Chile is very attractive, because there is a very different consumer culture and it occurs in the modern channel, where we are specialists," Nuñez adds.
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