College football fans: Did you see Justin Fields last week? For those who don’t follow college football, here’s a quick recap:
The college football semifinal games for the 2020 season were played last Friday. In one of the games, Ohio State unexpectedly blew out Clemson behind an amazing showing from their quarterback, Justin Fields, who threw for six touchdowns and 385 yards in what sports analysts are calling a “legendary” and “mythmaking” performance.
ESPN broadcaster Chris Fowler said it was the highest-level performance he’s seen in 35 years of covering football.
You get the point. What Fields did last Friday was unprecedented.
And now, you’re probably asking yourself … why does any of this matter?
Because Fields is vegan.
Coming into the 2020 season, Fields switched up his diet to be entirely plant-based. He said in an October interview:
“My dad wanted to do it because he was kinda heavy, so I just tried it with him and then it kinda turned into a family thing. First it started off as a 28-day challenge, it was really a cleanse. I just liked how I felt after that and I just kept going on from there. I’m doing it now and I feel great, my body feels great and I feel faster and stronger.”
Fields joins a long list of big-time athletes who have switched to vegan diets over the past few years and seen remarkable results.
NBA superstar Chris Paul, for example, adopted a plant-based diet in 2019 to help fight back against Father Time (he’s 35 years old, which is ancient by NBA standards). He went on to have one of the most impressive seasons of his career in 2020, which he credits to going plant-based:
Tennis legend Novak Djokovic has been plant-based for over a decade. Boxing legend Mike Tyson was vegan throughout the 2010s. Women’s soccer star Alex Morgan is vegan.
So is Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, NFL quarterback Cam Newton, pro surfer Tia Blanco, pro rock climber Steph Davis and Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Hannah Teter.
In perhaps the most shocking twist, former bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger is plant-based now, too.
The list goes on and on. The point doesn’t change.
Professional athletes, for whom physical performance and health is of the utmost importance, are going plant-based.
Maybe the rest of us should start listening …
Actually, some of us are.
Plant-based food sales have been outpacing animal-based food sales by about 5X for several years now, with that gap only widening every year.
Some of us are pivoting to plant-based diets for the same performance and health reasons that Justin Fields made the switch.
Some of us are pivoting because doing so helps save the environment, as farm animals produce more carbon emissions in Europe than cars.
Some of us a going vegan for animal welfare purposes.
Some of us are doing it to be “cool.”
There are a great many reasons why consumers are going plant-based, and that’s partly why this trend is so pervasive. It’s not just the tree-huggers, or the animal rights activists, or the super athletes or the trendsetters who are going vegan.
It’s all of them. Combined.
And together, they are sparking a seismic shift toward plant-based diets that will permanently and significantly impact all of us.
Because, you see, plant-based diets are the future.
They’re better for you. They’re better for the environment. They’re better for the cows. A switch to plant-based diets is a win-win-win for all involved parties.
If so, then why haven’t plant-based diets reached ubiquity yet?
Because of shortcomings related to taste, access and cost – but these shortcomings are transient.
The underlying technology behind making plant-based meat will continue to advance significantly over the next few years. As it does, plant-based meat will inch closer and closer to tasting and feeling just like animal-based meat.
Meanwhile, access to plant-based food is being increasingly democratized as more and more grocery stores and fast-food chains feature plant food items in their stores and on their menus. All of this increased supply and demand will lead to economies of scale, which will unlock significant cost-savings that should be passed down to the consumer, ultimately driving plant food prices lower with time.
Folks, the headwinds are passing. The obstacles are being removed. And the runway is clear for takeoff.
Plant-based diets will go from niche in 2020, to everywhere by 2030. As they do, plant food stocks will be some of the biggest winners on Wall Street this decade.
Hot Stocks to Play the Vegan Megatrend
Of course, the most obvious way to play this hypergrowth trend is by buying the face of the plant-based food movement — Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND). I see Beyond Meat stock as the “Tesla of Plant Food” – and Tesla has worked out pretty nicely for investors as the electric vehicle (EV) megatrend has boomed.
But, in Beyond Meat’s shadow, are some much more interesting and explosive picks, like Canadian plant-meat maker The Very Good Food Company (OTCMKTS:VRYYF), plant infant nutrition pioneer Else Nutrition (OTCMKTS:BABYF), plant protein platform Burcon NutraScience (OTCMKTS:BUROF), frozen plant foods company Tattooed Chef (NASDAQ:TTCF) and plant creamer maker Laird Superfood (NYSEAMERICAN:LSF).
All of those stocks have enormous upside potential over the next 5 to 10 years.
So, don’t be afraid to either adopt a more plant-forward diet or to buy some plant food stocks …
Both will pay dividends in the long run.
On the date of publication, Luke Lango did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
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