NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen can add a new job title to his resume: vegan popcorn entrepreneur.
The retired basketball player—who played for 17 seasons in the NBA, winning six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls—is launching a vegan popcorn brand. Called Husk, the vegan popcorn is also organic and gluten-free.
Pippen’s vegan popcorn brand—which he created along with business partner chef R.C. Mills—is set to release on July 6. The baller’s new plant-based treat will be available in several varieties, including cayenne and ginger, matcha and coconut water, and kale and broccoli.
Additional flavors include dragonfruit, moringa and spirulina, and yacon—a sweet-tasting root vegetable that resembles a sweet potato—and turmeric.
“The thing we realized is that a lot of the snacks were salty/sweet, so to speak, and we like that,” explained Mills. “We enjoy salty/sweet snacks, but we wanted to create something in a totally different dynamic that will be [a] salty snack, but have some superfood ingredients.”
Scottie Pippen’s Vegan Popcorn
What sets Pippen’s popcorn apart from the rest? In addition to being vegan, Pippen says his product is “health-forward.”
“I think we’ve created something very good and very special and healthy,” explained Pippen.
“[W]e have something that we think that every kid should love, and that’s eating his vegetables and eating something that’s healthy,” Pippen continued. “We think we’ve hit a home run with Husk.”
But creating the vegan snack wasn’t easy. Mills explained that Husk took two years of research and development. “It really takes time to build a brand like this,” he said. “And we feel as though we did the hard work in creating something special that the entire country can enjoy.”
While this may be Pippen’s first foray into popcorn, it’s certainly not Mills. The wine industry professional is the mastermind behind vegan popcorn brand VINPOP. The vegan popcorn is made with real wine and comes in a variety of flavors like champagne, chardonnay, and pinot noir.
Pippen isn’t the only NBA baller to embrace veganism in some form. NBA star DeAndre Jordan, who is plant-based, landed his own vegan cooking show last month. The show features a variety of vegan cuisines. In one episode, Joanne Molinaro—better known as The Korean Vegan—shows the NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist how to make kimchi fried rice.
“You’ve seen me finish plenty of plays on the court,” Jordan said. “But here on PlayersTV, those alley-oops will be coming from some of my favorite chefs from around the country.”
And vegan four-time NBA champion John Salley was an early investor in plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat. The California-based company became the first vegan meat brand to go public in 2019, and on its first day of trading, its stock prices surged 163 percent.