Oprah Winfrey’s recent backing of the rising True Food Kitchen restaurant chain reflects the recent A-list investment trend: food and dining businesses.
Winfrey joins a long list of household names, from Beyonce to Ashton Kutcher, who have put their money where their celebrity mouths are in recent years, backing everything from protein substitute companies to online grocery stores and “healthy” beverage manufacturers.
Flush with income from their starring roles, celebrities invest in the food or restaurant trade to leverage their fame and hedge against upheaval in the entertainment business that is making their big salaries less dependable.
Vivaldi Founder and CEO Erich Joachimsthaler spoke to USA Today about how celebrities are hopping onto the food industry bandwagon to stay in-tune with today’s health-conscious consumers: “Celebrities want to be part of a value system. If health and wellness is important … use it to connect with ordinary consumers and make a larger impact globally.” He also referenced how companies use celebrities to raise awareness of their brand: “Look at what Oprah did for Weight Watchers. It’s success was enormous after she invested.”