Since last month, when his lifestyle book The TB12 Method debuted, football star Tom Brady has spread his unique nutritional wisdom far and wide, offering a roadmap to health and “a lifetime of sustained peak performance.”
“Foods to limit or avoid,” the Brady Bible states, include: “sugary processed snacks (cakes, cookies, cupcakes, candy),” among a host of other foods you wouldn’t normally find on a naughty list, like white potatoes, strawberries, and breakfast cereal.
So it comes as a surprise that the 40-year-old Patriots quarterback is also an investor in the Boston-based candy startup Unreal. Brady stars in a new video promoting the candy. To get the company’s chocolates, he says, “I am ready to travel through time and space.”
How to truly live like Tom Brady is a nuanced art, it seems, caught up to some extent in a web of commercial interests involving his TB12 brand and other investments. Skip the candy for healthy snacks instead, he urges fans, such as the TB12 snacks available at TB12store.com. Of course, if you must eat candy, as many are prone to do this time of year, try varieties that are “TB12 approved,” as the company’s communications put it, such as Unreal.
Although Brady is “is not paid to do any Unreal product promotion” he is “a small investor” in the company and “believes deeply in their founding purpose to ‘unjunk the world,'” according to a statement a company representative sent to BuzzFeed News. Unreal candies use “40% less sugar, non GMO and organic ingredients with nothing at all artificial,” the statement said.
Here is Brady in a brand video from 2016, indulging in peanut butter cups and pouring them into his bag before practice:
Brady — who was not immediately available for an interview — is not alone in endorsing the brand. Celebrities such as John Legend and Matt Damon have thrown their support behind Unreal, as well as Bill Gates and Square founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, Business Insider reported.
Unreal, cofounded by angel investor Michael Bronner and his teenage son, has raised more than $18 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. Bronner is reportedly friends with Brady.
Unreal said in its statement, “As it’s widely known, Tom and his family believe in a holistic lifestyle and healthy nutrition. However, there are special occasions throughout the year, such as Halloween, when chocolate is at the center of the holiday and he believes that if you’re indulging it’s better to have chocolate that is not made with excess sugar, chemicals and artificial ingredients.”
In The TB12 Method, Brady writes, “When I think about ‘food,’ I picture an avocado, a banana, a salad, a handful of nuts, or a piece of fish. I don’t picture a box of cereal, a tub of margarine, a box of doughnuts, a bag of potato chips, or anything else manufactured using salt, sugar, fat additives, stabilizers, and chemicals.” He goes on, “I’m not saying to never eat the foods I just mentioned, as I know they taste good (and are marketed well).”
Venessa Wong is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Wong covers the food industry.
Contact Venessa Wong at email@example.com.
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