NBA superstar Chris Paul joins Wicked Kitchen as investor
As it continues unprecedented company growth to meet the demand for more flavorful plant-based foods, Wicked Kitchen, a 100% plant-based, flavor-forward global food brand, has announced that 10-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Chris Paul has joined the Wicked team as an investor.
The NBA point guard and two-time Olympic Gold medalist transitioned to a plant-based diet in 2019 and, seeing enhanced performance, made the change permanent after his on-court numbers and efficiency increased and his inflammation decreased in the following season.
In his just-released memoir, Sixty-One, Paul opens up about life beyond basketball sharing his diet regimen changes along with valuable lessons he learned from his grandfather, which helped mold him into the man and father he is today.
Paul joins other high-profile celebrity investors in Wicked Kitchen such as actor and vegan advocate Woody Harrelson, media personality Paris Hilton, actor and musician Lance Bass and actress and activist Shailene Woodley. Wicked Kitchen also partnered with non-profit Support + Feed to provide 100,000 plant-based meals to help stamp out food insecurity as part of the Billie Eilish 2022 eco-friendly global tour.
"It's really exciting to have more and more influential and inspiring people choosing to eat plant based. By working together, we can continue to make massive change," commented Pete Speranza, CEO of Wicked Kitchen. "With investors such as Chris Paul, our momentum as a global-impact brand is undeniable and we are uniquely positioned as more consumers and top-performers are recognizing the difference plant-based eating can have on their health and wellness. This helps make the demand for chef-crafted, cravable plant-based foods unstoppable."
Wicked Kitchen's first foray into serving sports teams and fans in the USA was last fall with the debut of its first plant-based concession stand at the Target Center in partnership with the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves in its home court of Minneapolis.
Paul originally was an investor in Current Foods, an alt-protein startup providing plant-based seafood to food service and fine dining locations in the USA and Europe. Wicked Kitchen acquired Current Foods last month and Paul then joined as a Wicked Kitchen investor. Additionally, the brand acquired Good Catch, a pioneering plant-based seafood company last September.
Wicked Kitchen offers the largest variety of chef-crafted, animal-free consumer packaged goods in the industry available at 13,000 retailers with more than 40 products in the USA and +150 products in the UK. The brand's retail offerings include meal solutions such as an expansive frozen and ambient product lineup with heat-and-eat entrées, handcrafted frozen pizzas and first-of-its kind ice creams and novelties.
The brand continues to expand on its multi-category offerings and global retail outlets and is launching product extensions with new pizza varieties and ice cream flavors in Kroger and Giant Foods late summer. Key US national retailers include Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market, Giant Food, Publix, Stop & Shop, Albertsons, Schnucks, Wal-Mart and 7-Eleven stores.
Globally, Wicked Kitchen has embraced the growing Asian market by partnering with Thailand's largest retailers, Tops Market and Central Food Hall in addition to food service and retail in the UK.
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