Mark Cuban Invests in Vegan Deli Meat and “Sales Are Better Than I Imagined”
Mark Cuban is no stranger to the vegan industry, the Shark Tank entrepreneur has invested in numerous vegan start-up companies throughout the years such as Snacklins, Wild Earth, Veggie Mama, Delighted by Desserts, Wanna Date?, and Mrs.Goldfarb's Unreal Deli, maker of the world's first vegan corned beef.
Last November, the super-star Shark Tank judge shelled out $250,000 for a 20 percent stake in Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli, a food startup that makes “fine vegan meats” known for its corned beef alternative. The bet is turning out better than even he expected. When Cuban first bankrolled the founder, Jenny Goldfarb, the company forecasted $3 million in revenue for 2020, but now the billionaire says Unreal Deli is on track to do multiples of that and could hit $50 million in sales. It's now sold at Sarge's Deli in Manhattan as well as big retailers around the country.
"Big distributors including Whole Foods and the Quizno’s have both begun testing the fledgling brand," says Cuban. He called the CEO of Quizno's and sold them on testing Unreal Deli meats at the Denver and Seattle sub sandwich shops, only hoping the product will go national. Unreal Deli also makes a turkey alternative and taco meat and chicken strips. The website says all its products are "complete proteins, which means a range of vitamins & nutrients in each serving, featuring their own unique vegetables and proteins/ Unreal Deli is always: Plant-based, kosher, animal-free, cholesterol-free, nitrate-free low-fat, low-carb and protein-packed.
Is Mark Cuban going vegan? His investments certainly are moving that way
“Sales are really, really good — better than I imagined,” Cuban told The Post. “I never saw it happening this fast. In particular, we have distributors around the world now. I didn’t see that coming.”
Cuban eliminated animal products from his diet not much longer after the investment. The Shark Tank judge has been vegetarian for one year and added that he doesn’t see publicly traded Beyond Meat being a competitor, since it is focused on veggie burgers.
Cuban commented on his future predictions include growth in the demand for meat alternatives, saying, “I see this as creating the plant-based corned-beef and pastrami markets and taking a lot of market share from plant-based turkey slices,” he added, “I would always rather create a market. That’s when the home runs start.”