Celebrities keep the public “in the know.” With their hit singles, movies, and the gossip they create, America’s superstars inform the public about what is in vogue in fashion, music, and now more than ever, food. In recent years, major celebrities have positioned their investments in the growing vegan food industry, promoting healthy and sustainable eating to their wide fanbases. Athletes, musicians, actors, and media moguls have fueled the plant-based market with substantial investments, promotions, and even some advertisements. The vegan lifestyle is officially “in.”
Star-studded investments have helped propel the vegan industry to unprecedented heights. Last August, Bloomberg Intelligence revealed that the plant-based market is expected to exceed $162 billion by 2030, growing 451 % from its 2020 market value. With the help of celebrity investments, the vegan market is expected to expand as consumers more widely accept plant-based living. While the money certainly helps, the celebrity investments’ real impact is leading by example.
While some celebs involved in the vegan market truly are vegan, most of them do not follow a plant-based diet. So, why do they support plant-based brands? Leonardo DiCaprio – who is not vegan – supports several plant-based brands to bring attention to the importance of sustainability when it comes to the climate crisis. Recently, the Oscar Award-winning actor starred in the climate change commentary comedy-drama Don’t Look Up. Others star investors including tennis legends and sisters Venus and Serena Williams show that plant-based foods don’t jeopardize your athletic abilities.
The celebrity investment market ranges from major companies including Impossible Foods and JUST Egg to smaller startups such as Partake Foods and La Vie. In true celebrity fashion, these 20 icons are leading by example, showing fans everywhere why plant-based living is trending.
Queen B consistently uses her platform and money to promote both Black-owned businesses and vegan brands. Her BeyGOOD Initiative partners with the NAACP to help vegan company Herban Eats and the Memphis vegan eatery, The Pink Bakery.
The NBA player has worked closely with the brand to bring nutritious drinks to underserved communities over the US.
Drake joined up with D1 Capital Partners to help vegan chicken company Daring Foods secure $40 million during its last investment round.
Celebrity couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi became one of the first major investors in the major alternative dairy company Miyoko’s Creamery in 2019. Since then, the brand’s founder Miyoko Schinner has fought meat and dairy giants to allow vegan products to use words like “butter” and “milk” on their labels.
Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the latest celebrity investors in Eat Just – the California-based food tech company responsible for JUST Egg and GOOD Meat. Gyllenhaal participated in the brand’s most recent Really Good Eggs parody advertisement.
Media mogul turned vegan giant Jay Zinvests in big plant-based brands including Impossible Foods and Oatly, but also branches out to smaller food brands such as Simulate (responsible for Nuggs and Partake Foods). He also invests in the salad chain Sweetgreen.
Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio is one of Hollywood’s most vocal environmental activists. DiCaprio keeps to his sustainable promises when it comes to vegan investments, supporting brands including Beyond Meat, plant-based dairy company Califia Farms, and vegan snack brand Hippeas.
Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban helps propel several plant-based businesses with significant investments. During his time on the show, Cuban has invested in Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli, Pan’s Mushroom Jerky, Everything Legendary, Delighted By Desserts, Veggie Mama, and others. The Shark Tank judge is one of the biggest proponents of rising vegan food brands.
Thor: Love and Thunder star Natalie Portman joins Jay-Z in investing in Oatly. Portman also invests in vegan bacon company La Vie – set to partner with Burger King France – and vegan meat company Tender Foods.
Along with Jay-Z and Natalie Portman, Oprah helped Oatly secure its $200 million investment package in 2020. The investment package happened nearly a year before the company went public in May 2021.
Known as the original influencer, Paris Hilton remains ahead of the curve. In 2020, Hilton invested in Gathered Foods – the parent company of vegan seafood brand Good Catch. Founded by Chad and Derek Sarno, Good Catch has become one of the most prominent vegan seafood companies on the market.
Through his venture capital company Electric Feel Ventures, Post Malone helped secure a $2.3 million funding round for Actual Veggies – a plant-based burger company that distinguishes its patties with its natural ingredients.
Though Rihanna primarily invests in sustainable fashion and beauty, the Grammy Award winner also supports Partake Foods along with Jay-Z. Rihanna helped the WOC-owned cookie company secure $4.8 million dollars at the beginning of 2021.
Robert Downey Jr.
The Iron Man star is bringing his iconic Marvel character to life with his vegan philanthropy. The actor has invested in vegan bacon compay MyForest Foods (previously AtLast Foods) and more recently, the new food tech compay MyCompany Foods – known for its advanced food technology APPEXTEX. He also invests in the eco-friendly brand Nobell Foods, which is responsible for replicating dairy proteins.
From Blink-182 to the Kardashians, Travis Barker recently returned to the mainstream. The famous drummer is an investor in the acclaimed vegan restaurant Crossroads Kitchen. The vegan restaurant can be found in Vegas and , Los Angeles.
With Jake Gyllenhaal, Tennis Champion Serena Williams joined JUST Egg’s recent “Really Good Eggs” campaign. Before this, the world-renowned athlete helped vegan frozen food company Daily Harvest secure $43 million.
Woody Harrelson has been vegan for nearly 30 years, and his investment portfolio reflects that. Recently, the True Detective actor invested in vegan meat brand Abbot’s Butcher with his long-time friend Owen Wilson. Harrelson also invested in Gathered Food with Paris Hilton in 2020.
In 2020, Venus Williams launched vegan protein company Happy Viking to help others thrive on a plant-based diet. The first product offered under the Happy Viking brand is a plant-based protein shake in Vanilla Bean and Triple Chocolate flavors that features an innovative combination of Complete Body Mind Macronutrients (CBMM) designed to deliver optimal nutrition and promote post-workout recovery.