In 2022, going vegan is simple, however some foods (like Hot Cheetos and Cool Ranch Doritos) haven’t been fully veganized. Whom can we ask for help? Chris Paul, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in basketball, was just voted one of the NBA’s top 75 players in history.
It turns out that Paul is a major snack lover who, since being vegan, has struggled to locate the perfect vegan snacks to satisfy his cravings. Thus, he created his own. Paul established a new, strongly seasoned vegan snack brand called “Good Eat’n” in partnership with fast delivery service Gopuff that captures some of his preferred nostalgic tastes.
“Cool Ranch Doritos was my thing. That was my snack at school or at lunch time or during the summer. Or when I was playing on travel teams… And so now, to have our flavor that gives you that same nostalgia but you know that it’s plant-based has been the coolest thing,” Paul said during a press conference.
The customer information Gopuff and Paul gathered through taste tests, focus groups, and surveys helped them discover the treats consumers were desiring the most as they approached brand creation. They discovered that both vegan and non-vegan consumers demand more approachable and welcoming plant-based snacks, with a strong preference for spicy puffs.
The resulting Good Eat’n brand was developed to show that eating a plant-based diet can be savory and enjoyable. It was inspired by products from well-known national snack brands. The brand offers seven flavor-forward snacks to satisfy every craving, including Hot Hot Puffs, Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Puffs, Nacho Cheeze Tortilla Chips, Big Dill Ranch Tortilla Chips, Cookies N’ Creme Popcorn, Carolina Style BBQ Popcorn, and Classic BBQ Porkless Rinds, which are only available through Gopuff for nationwide delivery.
“Creating this entirely new product line with Chris shows Gopuff’s proven ability to not only launch products on its platform, but to serve as a true incubator for brands… As a long-time partner, Chris deeply understands how to leverage Gopuff’s platform to meet the evolving needs of the modern consumer,” said Yakir Gola, Gopuff co-Founder and co-CEO.
Chris Paul’s vegan snacking
Since becoming vegan in 2019, Paul, who describes himself as a “life-long snacker,” has been experimenting with plant-based snacks. He acknowledged his three-year plant-based diet throughout the meeting. “And it has changed my life,” I said.
Paul hopes that people will be surprised by how good vegan snacks can be with Good Eat’n, especially those who are put off by the idea of “vegan” food. “We wanted to make a product that was plant-based but not just for plant-based eaters. It’s for eaters… It’s for people who want something that tastes good,” Paul said.
Although there are many different foods in the Good Eat’n collection, including barbecue tastes that honor Paul’s North Carolina heritage, the NBA champion is all about cookies. He claims he can’t stop eating the Cookies N’ Creme Popcorn, which is his favorite of the group of snacks.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve been a snacker… I love snacks,” Paul said.
Paul made it clear that he has never enjoyed any cheese, whether it be vegan or not, but he did admit that the Nacho Cheeze Tortilla Chips he made have a special charm. “It’s really good if you like Doritos and things like this … it’s nostalgic.”
The NBA player has been collaborating with the company since last year to help diversify its plant-based choices, especially those made by Black- and Brown-owned businesses. Good Eat’n is the first brand Gopuff developed with Paul. The vibrant packaging for his Good Eat’n business was made by Black and female-founded design firm Utendahl Creative. Paul also wants to make plant-based foods attractive and more widely available through his work with Gopuff.
“[Paul’s] passion and commitment to a plant-based lifestyle, along with the integral, hands-on role he’s played in creating this brand since day one has been a labor of love… We are excited to expand our partnership with Chris and introduce Good Eat’n,” Gola said.
Paul’s plant-based diet
Paul spoke candidly about the advantages he has experienced from switching to a plant-based diet while promoting his new vegan snack business. “When I first started, it was for athletic purposes but when I started to dive into the information, it was for health … for life… What I would tell a young athlete is: ‘You don’t have to go cold turkey—or cold tofu—like I did. But at least if you can start to introduce healthier [plant-based] options like I did, I guarantee you it will change your life like it did mine,” Paul said.
The 37-year-old athlete claims that while he is still learning about plant-based eating, he has already noticed significant improvements in his gut health, energy levels, and absence of stiffness after strenuous exercise.
“It’s literally been a cheat code… I don’t believe that I would still be playing at the level that I am playing had I not made that change,” Paul stated about his diet.
In the NBA, eating plants is becoming more prevalent, and formerly skeptical coworkers are now motivated by Paul’s personal success as a vegan. Even other people, like Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns, are already intrigued by Good Eat’n.
“Every time he sees me eating, he says, ‘Oh, you’re eating that grass’… We flew back from Phoenix yesterday and it was great seeing him eating the [Good Eat’n] Cookies N Creme bag. It’s been fun because the bag says, ‘Surprisingly plant-based,'” Paul said about Booker.
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