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10 celebrities promoting veganism by investing in plant-based businesses

The future is powered by plant-based businesses. 

Many celebrities have invested in vegan businesses that produce everything from meat alternatives and protein powders to oat milk and vegan leather. The latest to hop on this bandwagon are power duo, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli. Here’s a roundup of all the stars who back vegan enterprises.

Plant-based diets have become a mainstay in both environmental and health and wellness industries over the past few years. Studies have stated that these diets are sustainable and healthy, convincing thousands across the globe to cross out meat and eggs from their grocery lists, in favour of carrots and mushrooms. Those in the limelight have had similar responses, with several athletes, business people, influencers, and celebrities attesting to eating more plant-based meals. Some have gone a step further to launch their vegan businesses or invest in a few with potential. And if you’re in the market for some vegan alternatives, here are the celebrities who have made it easier to find them in the aisles of grocery stores.

These celebrities have invested in plant-based businesses

Bollywood celebrities who support veganism

1. Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli

 

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Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma and cricketer Virat Kohli have long advocated switching to a plant-based diet, with both citing their love for animals as the reason for giving up meat. They’ve recently put their money where their hearts are by investing in a homegrown plant-based meat brand, Blue Tribe.

With a range of products like chicken nuggets, mutton keema, chicken momos, and sausages, the brand aims at accurately replicating the taste, texture, and nutrition that meat products provide. Featured ingredients include peas, soybeans, and lentils.

With the celebrity couple now on board, the brand hopes to influence people to make more environmentally-friendly choices. Adding to this, Kohli said, “If we can have a lower dependence on meat, without shortchanging our taste buds, there is potential for a planet-changing impact.”

2. Genelia D’Souza and Ritesh Deshmukh

 

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This celebrity couple has invested in a plant-based future by going all out and launching their own plant-based venture called Imagine Meats, with the help of The Good Food Institute and US-based global ingredients manufacturer Archer Daniels Midland. The Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na actress took to Twitter to say, “For over 3 years Riteish and I have nurtured a dream to work towards food choices that are good for you, the animals and our planet.” The duo spent a long time testing the texture, flavour, and nutritional value of the meat alternatives and focused on creating products that would appeal to the Indian market.

On offer are ready-to-prepare meals featuring seekh kebabs, keemas, biryanis, nuggets, and sausages. They started with sales in Mumbai and have expanded to Delhi. Their products are a hit with celebrities, with the likes of Shahrukh Khan flaunting a few on social media.

3. Alia Bhatt

 

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Awarded the “person of the year” title by PETA in 2021, Alia Bhatt reportedly switched to a plant-based diet sometime in 2020 to stay healthy. The actress also shares her love for animals with her celebrity peers, often sharing pictures of her cats and dogs on social media. A year later, she invested in a plant-based, IIT Kanpur-backed wellness startup called Phool.co, which is working to develop “fleather,” a plant-based alternative to animal leather, made from recycled flowers.

The company aims to provide employment to women in India and offer humane alternatives to animal products. Adding to this, Alia was quoted by Telangana Today saying, “I’m proud that these products are created in India and wowing the world, and I’m thrilled to join the investors who are backing the company.”

4. John Abraham

 

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A vocal advocate of plant-based diets and a self-professed animal lover, actor John Abraham’s uber fit lifestyle led him to invest in a Mumbai-based low-calorie, high-protein ice cream brand NOTO. Although not strictly vegan, the company announced a range of vegan flavours a month after their collaboration with the Mumbai Saga actor, in what came to be one of their biggest developments to date.

Their dairy-free range of frozen treats is made of almond protein and come with choices in dark chocolate, mocha almond, pistachio, salted caramel, and mango and raspberry flavours. They currently cater to people in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru.

Hollywood celebrities and international musicians who support veganism

1. Rihanna

 

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Although not vegan herself, singer and fashion mogul Rihanna has been known to support plant-based ventures, staying away from animal testing for her makeup and skincare range Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin. She also has a vegan-friendly lingerie line and has come up with faux leather creations. This earned her PETA’s “compassion in fashion” award in 2020.

In addition to this, she’s invested in a black-owned venture called Partake Foods which produces gluten-free, low-sugar, vegan cookies.

2. Jay Z

 

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Record producer, rapper, and songwriter Jay Z is one of the first few celebrities to venture into the world of plant-based ventures and now backs several across different industries. He channelled money into Impossible Foods, the popular meat-alternative brand behind the “meaty” Impossible burger. He’s also invested in the oat-milk brand Oatly, non-dairy cheese brand Misha’s Kind Foods, and vegan chicken-nuggets brand Simulate. He also, like Rihanna, backs Partake Foods.

Also under his banner of investments is the salad chain Sweetgreen. Besides these, he’s invested in Rihanna’s vegan Savage x Fenty lingerie line, compostable phone-maker brand Pela, and electric bike producer MATE.

3. Leonardo Dicaprio

 

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Perhaps one of the biggest faces of vegan and plant-based movements across the globe, Leonardo Dicaprio starred in Before the Flood, a documentary where he addressed climate change and important steps to tackle it through discussions with scientists and activists. He was also the executive producer of Cowspiracy, a vegan documentary.

His investments include the non-dairy beverage brand Califia Farms, the chickpea-snack venture Hippeas, and the popular meat-alternative brand Beyond Meat. While most of these are limited to the US market, Beyond Meat’s sausages and burgers recently hit the frozen sections of Indian grocery stores across major cities.

4. Drake

 

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During a live Twitch stream, singer and rapper Drake declared that he wasn’t eating meat anymore. He explained that he’d made the decision for his health, the environment, and animals. He later backed his words by investing in a plant-based business called Daring Foods, which creates plant-based chicken products like chicken tenders and nuggets.

5. Robert Downey Jr


In 2020 Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr declared that he was transitioning to a plant-based diet. His investments later reflected this switch. The actor has poured money into a meat-alternative brand called Atlast Food Co which focuses on whole-cut plant-based meats like bacon and steak. He also funds a plant-based business focused on dairy alternatives named Nobell Foods, that’s known to make delicious cheese. Downey has also invested in Footprint Coalition Ventures, which focuses on using technology to clean up the planet.

6. Natalie Portman

 

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A vocal, fierce advocate for adopting a plant-based lifestyle, actress Natalie Portman often shares vegan recipes and tips with her followers on Instagram. She’s been a long-time investor of the oat-milk dairy alternative brand Oatly. The brand was recently launched in India, in collaboration with Starbucks India for the chain’s dairy-free options.

Most recently, Portman backed a French plant-based business La Vie which specialises in plant-based pork. The company now aims to launch its pork and lardon products across several countries.

Frequently-asked questions:

Why are celebrities investing in plant based businesses?

Plant-based businesses are believed to be lucrative investments, with brands like Oatly and Beyond Meat having multibillion dollar valuations. In addition to this, plant-based lifestyles make for environmentally conscious choices. These factors, along with love for animals, have prompted celebrities to invest in meat, dairy, and leather alternatives.

Why are celebrities going vegan?

Most celebrities list out health and environmental causes for going vegan. Some, like John Abraham, Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, and Natalie Portman attribute the decision to their love for animals.

Which celebrities have started plant-based businesses?

Ritesh Deshmukh and Genelia D’souza are co-founders of Imagine Meats, a plant-based meat alternative brand in India. Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty line of products as well as her makeup and skincare brands are vegan as well.

While other segments of a plant-based lifestyle are quickly growing?

In addition to meat alternatives, the market for animal-free leather as well as skincare and makeup products that do not test on animals is growing at a rapid pace.

Hero and feature image: Courtesy Blue Tribe 

10 celebrities promoting veganism by investing in plant-based businesses

Eshita Srinivas

Eshita is a food, alcohol, travel, and entertainment writer who spends her days thinking of the next big trend to write about. She’s a communication graduate with bylines in Conde Nast Traveller India, GQ India, Deccan Herald, and Girls Buzz. When not at work, you’re likely to find her hunting for a good read or charting out the perfect itinerary for a solo trip across Asia.

   

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