Rob’s Backstage Popcorn, a brand launched by the Jonas Brothers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) business The Naked Market, recently raised $7 million in a celebrity-backed series A funding round to support national growth at Albertsons, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Walmart and other retailers. But the brand is far from the only celebrity-backed or endorsed food company to be expanding or debuting this year.
Whether their names are directly attached to their product or they’re just one in a long list of investors, celebrities have been highly influential in the food and beverage industry; their popularity and ability to fund projects has catapulted celebrity food brands in recent years.
From pop stars and celebrity chefs to social media influencers and models, here are five of the many celebrity food brands that will be launching or expanding this year.
1. Rob’s Backstage Popcorn
Inspired by the Jonas Brothers’ favorite on-tour snack, Rob’s Backstage Popcorn debuted in 2021. The original recipe features a sweet-and-savory seasoning created by family friend Rob Garbowsky, the father of the band’s former bass guitarist Greg Garbowsky. The company has since expanded its lineup to include a barbecue offering developed in collaboration with musician Kelly Clarkson and an Indian spice mix created with actress and producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
The most recent funding round was led by Palm Tree Crew, a venture firm founded by music producer Kygo, with participation by The Hershey Company, UTA Ventures, songwriter Ryan Tedder, actress Mindy Kaling, former professional football player Joe Haden, actor Glen Powell and restaurateur David Grutman. The products are sold online at eatrobs.com and in more than 8,000 stores nationwide.
2. Tingly Ted’s
Music superstar Ed Sheeran is back with a new release, but this time it’s not a love song. Following their “Edchup” offering, Ed Sheeran and Kraft Heinz have come together for a hot sauce release, Tingly Ted’s. The sauce, which will be available worldwide, comes in two flavors: Tingly, a medium hot sauce with fresh lemon notes and smoky flavors and Xtra Tingly, a spicier mix for those who really want to amp up the heat.
Both flavors feature notes of lemon and smoky flavor from red jalapeños, capsicum chilies and a mix of herbs and spices. Ed Sheeran’s Kraft Heinz Tingly Ted’s Hot Sauce is available now for pre-order, with a wider retailer release later this year.
3. Cravings by Chrissy Tiegen
Best-selling cookbook author and celebrity chef Chrissy Teigen recently released a line of baking mixes as part of the Cravings by Chrissy Teigen lifestyle brand. The brand launched last year with three products: Chrissy’s Ultimate Banana Bread Mix, Buttermilk Mochi Pancake and Waffle Mix and Salted White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie Mix.
All of the mixes are adapted from tried and tested recipes from Teigen herself and only require one or two additional ingredients to make. Cravings plans to launch even more baking mixes and other pantry staples like pasta and noodle sauces, condiments and snacks in the coming months and the current offerings will be available in retail stores this year.
4. Snoop Cereal
Rapper Snoop Dogg is no stranger to dabbling in the food and beverage industry, with a cookbook, nutritional supplements and a rumored upcoming hot dog brand, alongside other projects and investments. His latest endeavor, Snoop Cereal, is a line of gluten-free cereals that promise “more corn, more flavor and more marshmallows,” and features a spoon-wielding blue dog on its colorful box.
The cereal will be released under Broadus Foods, a venture founded by Snoop Dogg (whose real name is Calvin Broadus), which also sells a variety of Snoop-branded breakfast products including oatmeal, pancake mix and syrup. While there is no known release date or further details, it’s believed that Snoop Dogg’s aim is to have his cereal sold in US supermarkets this year.
5. Big Sexy Pizza
Last year, Scottish singer/songwriter Lewis Capaldi launched a line of frozen pizzas under the brand name Big Sexy Pizza. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Capaldi kept busy by creating the brand which launched with two flavors of frozen pizza: The Big Sexy Meaty One and The Big Sexy Cheesy One. The pizzas are currently available in UK supermarket chains Iceland and Tesco, but are expected to be rolled out further in the coming months.