Robert Downey Jr. Bets Big on Plant-Based With Vegan Bacon Investment
Iron Man is keeping last year’s promise to go plant-based and to combat the environmental and nutritional damages of animal-based food. Actor Robert Downey Jr. recently backed the plant-based meat company Atlast Food Co. The company announced that it secured a $40 million investment round dedicated to enhancing its production and increasing its accessibility.
After an extremely successful year, the company aims to meet the demand for its plant-based MyBacon products. Atlast Food sources its bacon alternative from mycelium, a fiber in mushrooms that is used to mirror real bacon’s texture and taste. The financial investment received by the company will allow its products to be manufactured at an accelerated pace while the demand continues to soar.
Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition Ventures was accompanied by Vikiking Global, Stray Dog Capital, Applegate, Stonyfield, and Whole Foods in the investment. Atlast Food’s president Stephen Lomnes announced that the company plans to build the largest mycelium production facility in the US, claiming that the company needs to meet the ‘incredible demand” for the mycelium-based product.
“Atlast is creating a new category of plant-based foods by offering whole cut options,” CEO of Stray Dog Capital Lisa Feria said. “Mycelium, Atlast’s unique ingredient, is nutritious, versatile, and scalable. Consumers should get ready to see a lot more mycelium in their stores and on their plates.”
The mushroom bacon startup is teaming up with the mycelium technology company Ecovative to increase its production capabilities, raising an additional $60 million. Alongside the investment, the company is set to rapidly amplify its product range. Atlast’s “whole-cut” vegan bacon will eventually expand outside of North America to European and Asian markets.
“We’re trying to get the people who are not going to go full vegetarian to choose this over bacon,” Atlast’s CEO Eben Bayer said. “You can’t just be better for the planet. The Atlast MyEats looks like bacon, it fries like bacon, it crisps up like bacon, it crunches in your mouth like bacon and we think it tastes a lot like bacon.”
The vegan bacon is made up of only six ingredients: Mycelium, cane sugar, sea salt, smoked flavors, coconut oil, and a little beet juice for color. The simple and innovative creation caught the eyes and stomachs of consumers nationwide including Downey Jr. who see this product as a step towards the solution for factory farming and its environmental damages.
“If you love bacon and the planet, Atlast has created a six-ingredient solution for enjoying one without harming the other,” Downey Jr. said. “Atlast has a great team and a strong business plan.”
Since last November, the vegan food startup experiences unpredictable growth, and after securing its last two investment rounds, it hopes to encourage consumers to step away from pork and turkey bacon. The new manufacturing facility is due to open sometime next year, preparing to make its product global with Iron Man’s unwavering support.