The Silicon Review
The plant-based wellness industry is booming. And ex-NFL player and entrepreneur Brad Pyatt, is all set to target the $53 billion active lifestyle consumer with his latest brand PlantFuel. The newest of ventures from Brad is looking to blur the line between sports nutrition and wellness lifestyles. It is truthfully at the inflection point for massive growth as consumer demand for plant-based, protein-packed, clean ingredient offerings rise with no end in sight.
After building MusclePharm, which grew to $200 million in sales, Brad Pyatt experienced great success with TRUWOMEN protein bars. Looking ahead, his newest venture PlantFuel realistically has the opportunity to be a $100 million brand in the next three to four years. The company is hitting the floor running with five products that are due to launch soon.
PlantFuel is solving plant-based wellness with clinically-proven ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. The touch points of everything done as a company are: Good for the Body, Good For The Planet. All PlantFuel products feature banned-substance-free and tested ingredients to push athletes past their plateaus, without compromising on nutritional needs, performance output or flavor.
We recently interviewed Brad Pyatt to know more about his latest venture. In the interview, he also spoke about his widely-recognized leadership skills that have brought him success. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Q. What’s your story? And what led you to the establish PlantFuel?
I am ax-NFL athlete turned entrepreneur. Years of being a consumer led me to create my first business called MusclePharm that I grew to $200 million in sales. This gave me the first taste of being an entrepreneur and has led me to continue to build out multiple brands since in the wellness space. I know the DNA of what consumers are looking for and now, I have the experience and relationships it takes to build out a best-in-class company.
Q. Tell us about your leadership style. How do you ensure that everyone in your organization understands your vision and work towards it?
I am all about culture and treating every person in the organization with respect and gratitude. To get your team members to buy you in, you must be 100% authentic and actually care about people. That starts with how you include each person in the decision-making of the company and create a culture of inclusion. Secondly, you must ensure that your team trusts you and that comes with doing what you say day in and day out. I am an old school blue collar type worker who is not too big to roll-up his sleeves and do the dirty work if that is what it takes to win and get the job done.
Q. Who do you look up to and why?
My parents. They have taught me what hard work and consistency looks like, and ultimately, how to be kind to people.
Q. ‘We are brand builders with disruptive and delicious ideas.’ Splendid. Would you like to elaborate on this a bit more?
Having an agile strategic mindset has allowed me to create brands that are meaningful and address consumer’s needs.
My strength is being able to peek around the corner and find the trends before they become trends and my track record off the field has been filled with big wins. I have amassed numerous celebrity endorsements with previous brands and have brought disruptive ideas to win in several different brands from MusclePharm, to TRUWOMEN and now with PlantFuel.
For TRUWOMEN protein bars, the easy route might have been just capitalizing on the plant-based trend. But that’s not how I do business. Our challenges were texture and taste. We were not satisfied with just coming out with a plant-based bar. We focused on disrupting the category with the best-tasting plant-based product and the best-tasting protein bar. We solved the challenge with a coated bar, which hides a lot of the protein within the coating. Marketed as indulgent nutrition, TRUWOMEN is a taste-based candy bar alternative. The product line won Vegan Protein Bar of the Year in 2020, and the UK’s Nourish Award for plant-based ingredient products. Its fans include Halle Berry and Megan Fox. Pyatt negotiated for TRUWOMEN to be distributed by Target, Whole Foods and Costco Canada, among other locations.
Q. As a successful leader, how do you encourage proactive thinking within your organization?
I have developed a culture in each business that allows all team members to have a chance to share their ideas of what they believe can continue to build a winning brand and company culture. Each month I have what I call “Moon” meetings. This is a dedicated meeting each month with the entire company, which allows members to share an idea that they believe can add value to our future business. The “Moon” meeting is basically an idea where everything under the moon can be discussed and no idea is disregarded and everyone has a chance to share their vision. I have created some of my best ideas for my companies from these meetings and encourage everyone to share and also guarantee that we have no left any stone unturned with driving future innovations, culture and branding of the business.
One of the best creative ideas has come from my accounting team in one of these sessions, which goes to show you that you never know where a great idea can come from.
Q. As a leader, what plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant now and in the future?
My latest company PlantFuel is staged to disrupt the Plant-Based Wellness industry. I have worked over 3 years building out the business. We are bringing to market the best-tasting and most effective line of wellness supplements combining the latest science and ingredient technology. We are doing this in a fun and eco-friendly way with plant-based packaging and a marketing campaign called “NO F***ING Whey.” We also have several celebrities and college athletes who will be representing our brand from investors as well as partners. To name a few we have Lil Yachty, Megan Fox, Terrell Owens, Spencer Rattler, and Lucy Hale.
Brad Pyatt, Founder and CEO
Brad Pyatt is a former NFL athlete turned entrepreneur and has been listed as one of the Top Fifty successful athlete entrepreneurs of all time, as well as awarded the top 100 influential leaders in the Food Industry. The accomplished Senior Executive, Global Thought Leader, brings more than fifteen years of success across the Sports, Food & Beverage, and Health & Wellness Industries. In those fifteen years, he’s founded numerous award-winning brands that have totaled over $1 billion in sales and been nominated for over twenty industry awards. Leveraging extensive experience to help enable growth for organizations, he can be a valuable advisor for startups and companies looking to scale. Besides his extensive networking contacts, broad areas of expertise include brand and product innovation, sales growth, product development, marketing, and branding.