Tennis star Naomi Osaka and renowned American DJ and record producer Steve Aoki, along with NFL quarterback Cameron Newton, have made high-profile investments in a vegan chicken startup business called Daring Foods. Los Angeles-based Daring Foods was founded in 2018, with meat alternatives made from a very simple list of ingredients. They have seen 900% growth over the last year, so they’ve been seeking additional funding for the expansion and development of new products. They have recently launched their product line in more than 3000 Walmart stores across the country. Their products can also be found in Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Kroger stores (Fred Meyer and QFC are both part of the Kroger family, so you may find their products locally in those stores).
While not vegetarian herself yet, Naomi is an elite athlete having won several tennis grand slams who needs to keep her body in tiptop shape, so she’s very interested in food. She aims to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day to get the fiber and other nutrition she needs, with plenty of smoothies and other drinks to keep her hydrated. In May of this year, she became an ambassador to the healthy food chain Sweetgreen, where she reportedly dines several times a week while training. As part of the partnership, Sweetgreen took her regular order and put it in their menu. Let’s hope that this investment indicates an interest in moving toward a plant-based diet herself.
In 2012, Steve Aoki was designated the highest grossing electronic dance music artist in North America from tours. He has spent a good majority of his life as either a vegetarian or a vegan. In 2015 he needed surgery on his vocal chords, as he was told that he was at risk of losing his voice, so health and nutrition have taken on a more important role in his life since then, which he sees as something of a blessing in disguise. “It’s still not 100 percent but the road to recovery and the road to strength has been very life affirming. It’s more about maintaining and having a healthy environment for my voice to be strong again,” Aoki adds. Hopefully his investment in Daring Foods indicates a continued dedication to healthy vegan food.