Disrupting the food industry, one nugget at a time, Nowadays is re-defining what cravings for junk foods are all about. Fried junk foods are often thought of as guilty pleasures, but healthier options don’t usually quite scratch that itch to indulge.
At Nowadays, co-founder and CEO, Max Elder, doesn’t think cravings should come with a side of guilt. Nor should food damage your body or the planet to be delicious.
Nowadays, a venture-backed food tech startup making Plant-Based meats, with only a few simple ingredients and an unparalleled nutritional profile, is fast becoming a favorite of those who want a healthier option to current food choices.
Nuggets Lead the Way
Nowadays’ flagship product, tasty Plant-Based nuggets, made with a handful of simple ingredients, is overwhelmingly approved by the harshest food critics, children.
Nuggets are the perfect category for Nowadays. According to Elder, nuggets is about an $8 billion category in the United States.
With health in mind, the Nowadays nuggets have seven simple ingredients. Hands down, it has the cleanest ingredient list and the best nutritional profile of any nugget on the market; Plant-Based or animal-based.
Unlike many Plant-Based foods, the ingredients the Nowadays nuggets are easy to recognize and pronounce; organic, non-GMO yellow peas grown by US farmers; yeast and mushroom extracts for a distinct meaty flavor; whole wheat for a wholesome and crunchy breading; maple fiber to replace eggs; and a bit of sunflower oil for both golden color and fried crunchiness.
The Nowadays Portfolio
Currently available in restaurants in Los Angeles and New York, Nowadays is building out a broader profile of branded menu items from coast to coast.
They are launching in retail outlets this year such as Whole Foods in Northern California.
A primary goal for the entire Nowadays family is to deliver a delightful eating experience for all their customers. Affordability is another “top of the mind” goal at Nowadays.
A barrier to entry for many consumers is taste and pricing, two areas Max says are must-haves with any product they put to market. Additionally, they are focused on creating a portfolio that delivers on a health value proposition as well as environmental and social benefits.
Max readily admits that the question about how to minimize climate change and the destruction of the environment is what keeps him awake at night and gets him out of bed in the morning.
Currently, the global food system and related land use of that food system accounts for about a quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions. A solution to reducing these emissions is with Plant-Based meats that are a scalable climate tech solution.
“If we don’t change what we put on our plates, we will never, ever be able to stay under two degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures, and we certainly won’t make any of our climate commitments that we need to,” Elder states.
According to Max, when individuals are looking for ways that they can have a positive impact on the environment it’s in the multiple decisions about what people put on their plates. There’s massive opportunity to have a serious impact on land, on water, on GHG emissions, by eating lower down in the food chain, by choosing an alternative meat product, and by swapping out dairy with an alternative dairy product.
The great news is that we no longer have to ask consumers to make massive trade-off like in the not so distant past.
Today, options are delicious, nutritious, affordable, and already on the shelf with more products coming to market every day.
Competing on Price
In a perfect world, the issue of price would be a nonissue. Yet, with chicken at less than $1.50 a pound, pricing of Plant-Based alternatives is a challenge. Yet, these are artificially cheap markets when you consider the subsidization of the poultry industry. Factor in the cost of one’s health, due to how unhealthy eating chicken actually is, and the figures are astronomical.
Unfortunately, many consumers don’t weigh the costs equally. There is the short term cost versus long-term costs.
Cost equality is an incredibly high priority for Max. His vision is that consumers will make their choices based on a better quality of food that is nutritious, tastes great and gets the real seal of approval… children.
Another area that is sorely lacking, and one Max and the Nowadays family have on their radar, is consumer education.
In their marketing they do all possible to make it abundantly clear how beneficial healthier, Plant-Based food choices are on so many levels.
In addition to the health benefits, Plant-Based options minimize land destruction, water waste and greenhouse gas emissions. With animal based food choices being a huge contributing factor to a plethora of diseases, as well as pandemics, there is no doubt what we put on our plates is forcing people to make better food choices.
The key to much of this is embodying an ethos of simplicity. Right now, the Plant-Based space is rather complex. It is becoming more difficult by the day for consumers to navigate around the brands, the ingredients and the truth about which choice is the healthiest, for people, for the animals and for the planet.
At the rate Max Elder is going, he is becoming a strong voice of disruption in the industry. His passion is evident…his commitment unwavering…his vision clear.
Create an affordable, healthy, tasty, food that is approved by the toughest critics around… children.
Max Elder is the co-founder and CEO of Nowadays, a venture-backed food tech startup making Plant-Based meats with only a few simple ingredients and an unparalleled nutritional profile. Max has consulted across the global food value chain on long-term strategy and innovation projects with seed companies, ingredient companies, CPG companies, foundations with a nutrition or ag focus, industry groups, and more. Max has written for, or been quoted in, The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, The World Economic Forum, Quartz, Forbes, Fast Company, and many others. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and books; his research is taught at universities around the world; and he speaks globally on issues related to our food system. Max sits on the advisory boards of FoodShot Global and Food Systems for the Future. He studied at both Kenyon College and Oxford University.
To learn more, visit http://www.eatnowadays.com