Last updated on February 23rd, 2019 at 06:45 pm
Beyond Meat has some big names in sports investing in the company as the athletes have found benefits in plant-based eating.
The new Beyond Meat investors and ambassadors include athletes Kyrie Irving, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Paul, DeAndre Hopkins, Victor Oladipo, Lindsey Vonn, DeAndre Jordan, JaVale McGee, Harrison Barnes, Malcolm Jenkins, Derrick and Charity Morgan, Alex Honnold, Shaun White and Luke Walton.
The athletes join existing Beyond Meat shareholders J.J. Redick, Tony Gonzales, Leonardo DiCaprio, Thomas Middleditch, David Wright, Eric Bledsoe, Maya Moore, Tia Blanco, April Ross and Maggie Vessey, as well as forward-thinking celebrities Snoop Dogg, Common, Jessica Chastain, Liza Koshy and Nicole Williams in championing the brand.
“At Beyond Meat, our goal is to provide consumers with plant-based meats that represent the future of protein; delicious, satiating protein and fuel for the body that is unburdened by health concerns increasingly associated with various animal meats. It’s not surprising to see that world-class athletes who are dialed into their bodies are early adopters of plant-based meat,” said Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat in El Segundo, California.
“After playing the amount of games, doing the amount of recovery stuff, working out as much as I do, it demands a very specific diet. Beyond Meat is the best thing that I could be a part of and it only helps me better perform as an athlete,” said Irving, an investor and ambassador. “I wasn’t always the tallest or most gifted athlete. I had to work on it, and in the process of working on my craft, it meant going beyond what everyone else was doing—breaking free of the mold to go beyond what was expected of me. I’m truly elated to be a part of Beyond Meat, a company that’s growing exponentially and doing it in a way that’s connecting people not just to great food, but to an incredible community.”
A part of that community is fellow basketball player Chris Paul, also an investor and ambassador for the company. Paul says he incorporates Beyond Meat’s plant-based options into his diet as more than just a meal option: “I now have a Beyond Burger after every game to aid with recovery times and inflammation; it’s a game changer, literally.”
A South Carolina native, DeAndre Hopkins was accustomed to fried Southern fare and a meat-centric diet. However, after spending the off-seasons training in California, Hopkins changed not only his zip code but his diet, embracing a more plant-forward lifestyle. As a back-to-back all-pro, Hopkins attributes his league-leading stats to his new eating habits.
“It honestly changed my life. It changed my body and my performance. These have been the best seasons I’ve ever had. I would say my performance on the field was a direct result of what I did off the field, how I treated my body and what I put in my body which was primarily Beyond Meat,” said DeAndre Hopkins, professional football player and Beyond investor and ambassador.
The Beyond Burger is a plant-based burger designed to look, cook and satisfy like beef but is made entirely from plants without GMOs, soy or gluten. The Beyond Burger has more protein than beef with significantly less saturated fat and is less intensive on the environment, requiring 99 percent less water, 93 percent less land, nearly 50 percent less energy and emitting 90 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a quarter-pound U.S. beef burger, the company says. With more than 50 million Beyond Burgers sold to date, the product is currently available in more than 15 countries and found in not only restaurants like Carl’s Jr. and TGI Fridays but also grocers like Kroger and Target.
Beyond Meat was founded in 2009. Its portfolio of plant-based proteins are sold at more than 32,000 retail and foodservice outlets nationwide.