Natalie Portman Invests in French Vegan Bacon Company La Vie

Ever since Natalie Portman announced her Instagram hiatus last year, we’ve desperately missed her vegan recipes. Through the entire COVID-19 quarantine, the acclaimed actress shared vegan recipes over IGTV with her fans, hoping to destigmatize plant-based dieting with a little optimism. Portman stepped away from Instagram, leaving fans waiting for more vegan tips and tricks, but the Oscar-winning actress is still highly active in the vegan movement.

Portman recently helped secure a record-breaking investment for the French vegan company La Vie, formerly known as 77 foods. The company, which specializes in plant-based pork, just closed its Series A funding round with $28.3 million. The investment package marks the largest funding round in the French alternative protein category. Currently, the food-tech start-up is exclusively available at Carrefour across France but intends to expand following the successful funding round.

La Vie aims to expand its production and distribution capacity through the next year, announcing that it plans to rapidly expand within France, Europe, and the UK. Eventually, the brand hopes to bring its plant-based bacon and lardons to the United States market.

Alongside Portman, the historic investment round enlisted the financial support of several prominent names in the plant-based industry. Led by the Paris-based venture capital firm Seventure, La Vie received investments from Oatly chairman Eric Melloul, BlablaCar CEO Frederic Mazzella, Back Market CEO Thibaud Hug de Larauze, and Vinted CEO Thomas Lodewijk Plantenga.

The high-profile investors signify the potential for La Vie’s plant-based pork and general interest in the alternative protein category. The plant-based protein market is expected to rise 451 percent by 2030, and one of the industry’s leading categories is pork. Alternative pork is expected to grow at a 24 percent CAGR within the next decade, fueling investor interest worldwide. As sustainability becomes a primary concern for consumers and investors, companies including La Vie will flourish as plant-based pioneers.

Jimmy Fallon featured Portman’s vegan recipes on the Tonight Show during the 2020 quarantine, pleading that she start a plant-based cooking show. While her tutorials have yet to hit the big screen, Portman continues to support and invest in plant-based companies. Portman joined Oatly as an early investor alongside big names including Oprah and Jay-Z, helping push the dairy-free milk company into the mainstream.

Portman also joined John Legend in the vegan leather brand MycoWork’s Series B funding round. The sustainable leather company raised $45 million dollars, closing one of the most successful investment rounds for a vegan leather brand to date.