- Golden State Warriors star Chris Paul, and three-time Olympic gold medalist and Aly Raisman have become the most recent partners and investors in alternative meat manufacturer Meati Foods. The athletes join the company’s list of existing partners including Derek Jeter, Rachel Ray, and Sweetgreen co-founders Nicholas Jammet and Jonathan Neman, making a trendy name for itself in the space.
- The fermented mushroom mycelium analog company launched in major retailers in 2023, and said it has plans to become the U.S. market leader in the plant-based meat space by 2025.
- Despite the company’s optimism around its growth, Meati has laid off employees in recent months, with plans to shift gears “focus on profitability.” In order to stay competitive, Meati has also said that it doesn’t consider it a plant-based company, but instead a less processed, better-for-you alternative meat company.
Other alternative meat companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have fallen short when it comes to economic performance in recent months. Just last month, Beyond analysts said the company was in ‘survival mode’.
Meanwhile, Impossible seems to be leaning into street-style foods even though studies have shown consumers want better-for-you options in the plant-based category.
Meati Foods claims they set themselves apart from competitors by not identifying as a ‘plant-based’ company, but instead, a ‘whole-foods’ company.
“Eating healthy has been a huge focus and priority for me. Over the years, I have realized how much better I feel, mentally and physically, when I eat whole foods,” said Raisman in a statement regarding her investment.
Paul, who is an entrepreneur and prolific investor in plant-based companies himself, said that when he is deciding on whether or not to invest in something, “I look at everything from the quality of the products to how our values align. Meati and I share an understanding that building something great involves being willing to put in the work.”
2023 was a pivotal year for Meati, which launched in 2017. The company launched its debut line of the Crispy Cutlet, the Classic Cutlet, the Classic Steak and the Carne Asada Steak and has expanded to over 3,000 stores nationwide. In the past few months, it entered the plant-based snacking category and announced an online direct-to-consumer marketplace allowing customers to try four of Meati’s current products alongside at least one new item for them to review via a paid subscription.
But Meati is not the first in the space to enlist celebrity status for investors. Paul, the new Meati investor, is also a partner of Beyond along with Leonardo Dicaprio, Jessica Chastain and Snoop Dogg.
Impossible Foods has a roster of Serena Williams, Jay Z, Katy Perry, among others.
“World-class athletes like Chris and Aly choosing to invest in our company reinforces that we are introducing a powerful, new whole-food staple worthy of fueling everyone, including those most discriminating about what they eat,” said Scott Tassani, president and chief operating officer at Meati Foods. “The insights Aly and Chris have to share will be invaluable as we continue to scale.”