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Thinking Outside the Box: How Vegan and Vegetarian Brands Are Reinventing Frozen Pizza

February 1, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Folded, fork and knife, deep dish, thin crust – however you like to eat your pizza, chances are there’s something for you in the freezer aisle. While pizza might be a classic and fairly simple food, it reigns supreme, a top-selling favorite around the world for people of all ages. And in today’s busy world, where most of us are overworked, spread thin, and don’t feel like laboring to cook when we get home at the end of a long day, that means one thing: Frozen pizza is the answer.
These modernized, ready-to-cook renditions of the Neapolitan classic have grown over the years into a significant market force, estimated at a global value of $19.6 billion, as of 2019. It’s been noted that young and working-class people are the driving force behind the rise of pizza – especially frozen pizza – as a convenient comfort food that busy folks can have ready in 30 minutes or less.
But to break into the frozen pizza market today, a company has to offer something unique. There are enough basic cheese pizzas in the freezer section – which is why the latest innovators attempting to enter the frozen pizza space are deviating from the classic pizza formula. To better serve consumer interests and needs, a number of brands are coming out with pizzas that are entirely plant-based, and which may use other alternative ingredients as well, such a gluten-free crust. Here are some companies that are innovating within the frozen pizza space to give consumers a slice of something different.
Amy’s, the California brand known and loved by vegetarians and vegans, is getting its slice of the pie by opening a new pizza-making facility. Amy’s foods have long been appreciated for their use of organic ingredients and no animal products, which of course also goes for their frozen pizzas. Varieties offered include their vegan Margherita, the cheeseless roasted vegetable pizza, and several others which not only cater to vegans and vegetarians, but gluten-free/Celiac folk as well.
Amy’s noticed a dramatic spike in demand for their frozen pizzas this year, almost certainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic keeping so many of us at home (not to mention leaving us fatigued from cooking), and in response has actually opened a new manufacturing space just for their pizzas so they can keep up with the demand. Which is to say, consumers can expect more pizza on shelves soon – and competitors may want to follow Amy’s cue to offer more, convenient plant-based foods if they’re hoping to see similar growth. 
Related: Pour The Vegan Milk: Breakfast Cereals Pivot To Plant-Based, High …
A slice of the pie
Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most popular vegan pizza makers is Daiya, the company best known for their array of dairy-free cheeses. The Canadian brand makes a full line of frozen pizzas, which in fact are all gluten-free, so those with Celiac need not squint at the ingredient list. From classic cheese and pepperoni to fire-roasted veggie, meatless meat lover’s, and mushroom with roasted garlic, there are pies for every taste. Frequent eaters love the thin, crispy crust, and the plant-curious might be interested to try the non-dairy giant’s take on the cheesy classic.
New York pizza purists will be glad to hear of Blackbird Foods, which took an alternate route into the pizza game. Originally and best known for their seitan, which contains few ingredients but is delicious and loved by restaurants, Blackbird is now selling frozen pizzas in grocery stores throughout the Northeast and gradually spreading to the rest of the U.S. Their pizzas come in classic styles like margherita and supreme, as well as new age-y kale and mushroom, and craveable BBQ chick’n.
It makes sense that a company known for their seitan – a product of vital wheat gluten – wasn’t going to go the gluten-free route. Instead, Blackbird treats their wheat carefully. Not only do some of the pizzas use their own seitan, but all of the crusts are classic wheat and hand-tossed rather than mass manufactured. Despite being a frozen food, this allows Blackbird’s pizzas to look and feel rustic and restaurant-quality, rather than like machine-made, highly processed fare. They’ve also partnered with Violife, a brand quickly growing in popularity for its various styles of vegan cheese, to top their pies. It should be interesting to watch Blackbird’s relatively young pizza business develop, especially if they continue to partner with other notable names in the plant-based food sector.
Related: The Protein Bar Game Is Going Vegan
G’bye gluten
But for those who have lost interest in wheat, Wholly Veggie might take the crown. This Toronto-based brand eschews gluten in favor of veggie-dense meals and meal starters, including their line of pizzas and pizza crusts. All are gluten-free and vegan, made from vegetable ingredients like cauliflower and sweet potatoes rather than wheat. The crusts are great options for when half-homemade is exactly what you can manage, and for when you need dinner to be a total snap, they also offer two fully premade frozen pizzas. These pizzas are made with Follow Your Heart vegan cheese, another brand well-known to vegans and other dairy-free folks.
American Flatbread isn’t an exclusively vegan brand, but market watchdogs might find it telling that an omnivorous company is going out of its way to offer vegan options. Apart from their line of traditional non-vegan, flatbread style pizzas, they offer two classic vegan pies as well: a cheeseless tomato pie, and a cheese pizza made with dairy-free vegan cheese. But that’s not all: their lineup now also includes several different “Meatless Evolution” pies, some vegan and some vegetarian (made with cheese). It’s a varied roster with options to suit all different consumer types and tastes.
Oh Yes! Foods has slowly been gaining traction among hungry vegans and vegetarians. The Los Angeles-based brand, founded by two doctors with a picky eater at home, is all about packing the classic comfort food with vegetables and nutrients. Even adults need to trick ourselves into eating healthy food sometimes, and Oh Yes’ lineup makes personal and medium sized cheese pizzas in every combination of vegan cheese (also by Follow Your Heart), dairy cheese, wheat crust, and gluten-free crust. Their 7.5” personal pizzas alone boast contents of three times the daily recommended fruit and veggie intake, thanks to sneaky inclusions like papaya, guava, artichoke, and kale.
Far from a quick weeknight dinner, frozen pizza is, interestingly enough, seemingly becoming a site of innovation and collaboration for food brands throughout North America. A consumer appetite for food that’s both healthy and convenient, along with the undying American love of pizza, has led to vegan pies popping up in new brands, places, and flavor profiles. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it’s not delivery – it’s disruption.
Related: Plant-Based in a Pinch: The Frozen Food Aisle Is Turning Vegan …

Elon Musk Questions Robinhood's CEO About Last Week's GameStop Stock Drama on Clubhouse

Elon Musk interviewed Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev on Sunday night on the audio app Clubhouse. He asked Tenev about why Robinhood stopped users from trading “meme stocks” such as GameStop.
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February 1, 2021 3 min read
This story originally appeared on Business Insider
The GameStop stock saga took a new turn on Sunday night when Tesla CEO Elon Musk unexpectedly interviewed Vlad Tenev, the CEO of the trading app Robinhood, on the new audio app Clubhouse.
Robinhood was the target of widespread outrage last week when it stopped users from purchasing shares of GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, and other so-called meme stocks that had rocketed over the week, fueled by Reddit users.
Musk went on Clubhouse for a wide-ranging interview in which he spoke about his plans to colonize Mars, his neural-technology company Neuralink, and his love of memes. At the end of the interview, Musk brought in Tenev, introducing him as “Vlad the stock impaler.”
“Spill the beans, man, what happened last week? Why couldn’t people buy the GameStop shares?” Musk said. “The people demand an answer, and they want to know the details and the truth.”
Tenev said Robinhood had been forced to temporarily stop users from buying those stocks because the surge resulted in a deposit requirement of $3 billion from the National Securities Clearing Corporation. Robinhood had raised only $2 billion in venture capital, so it spoke with the NSCC to get that requirement reduced to $700 million, Tenev said.
His comment echoed a statement from Robinhood on Friday.

Vlad Tenev, a cofounder and CEO of Robinhood.
Image Credit: Noam Galai | Stringer | Getty Images via Business Insider
Tenev said that the NSCC’s decision-making process to get to the $3 billion figure was “opaque” and that it was hard to know why it settled on that.
“Did something maybe shady go down here?” Musk said.
Tenev answered that he wouldn’t say so and that the NSCC had been cooperative after the initial $3 billion deposit request.
Musk also asked whether Citadel, a major hedge fund and intermediary for Robinhood, could have influenced the NSCC’s decision.
“There was a rumor Citadel or other market makers kind of pressured us into doing this,” Tenev said, “and that’s just false.”
“But wouldn’t they have a strong say in who got put in charge of that organization, as it’s an industry consortium and not a government … regulatory agency?” Musk said.
Tenev said he didn’t “have any reason to believe” that. “Then you’re getting into the conspiracy theories a little bit,” he said.
Musk regularly chimed in during the interview with jokes; at one point he asked Tenev, “Is anyone holding you hostage right now?”
Many of the Reddit traders said a motivation for galvanizing meme stocks was to take on hedge funds with heavily shorted stocks. Musk, who has historically attacked short-sellers, has been described as a sort of folk hero for Reddit day traders.
This wasn’t the first time Musk demanded answers from Robinhood. Last week, he expressed support for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for the House Financial Services Committee to hold a hearing on the app’s actions.
Robinhood allowed trading of meme stocks to resume on Monday with some restrictions.

MGM Snags Film Rights to the GameStop Wall Street Trading Story

Less than a week old, and already the tumultuous tale is heading to the big screen.
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February 1, 2021 2 min read
This story originally appeared on PC Mag
News travels fast in Hollywood. Less than a week after the meme stock craze that gave GameStop and other struggling firms a financial boost, MGM Studios reportedly acquired the rights to a book proposal chronicling the Wall Street hubbub.
According to Deadline, Ben Mezrich—author of Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions and Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Market for Millions—will pen The Antisocial Network, about a team of Redditors who banded together to bring Wall Street to its knees.
Last week, Reddit users on the r/wallstreetbets subreddit (“Like 4chan found a Bloomberg terminal”) teamed up to buy GameStock stock to inflate the price, make a profit for themselves, and take down the financial hotshots betting against the company. GameStop’s market value increased more than 1,700 percent since December, Deadline noted; between Tuesday and Wednesday, it rose more than $10 billion.
Details of the book, expected to go to publishers for auction this month, remain scant; it’s unclear where Mezrich’s story will start and end. MGM, meanwhile, is already making moves, assigning Aaron Ryder (Donnie Darko, The Prestige, Arrival) to produce; Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, under their Winklevoss Pictures banner, will executive produce.
Mezrich is no stranger to show business. His 2009 tale The Accidental Billionaires, about the founding of Facebook, was adapted by Aaron Sorkin into Oscar-winning The Social Network, produced by MGM’s Michael DeLuca. Plus, made-for-TV movie Fatal Error is based on his second novel, Reaper, and two more of Mezrich’s nonfiction works—Rigged and Ugly Americans—have been optioned by Mark Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment and Summit, respectively.

SpaceX Starship Launch Reportedly Violated an FAA License

The agency reportedly started an investigation in response.
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February 1, 2021 2 min read
This story originally appeared on Engadget
SpaceX’s high altitude Starship test may have created more problems than a fiery explosion. The Verge sources understand that the Starship SN8 launch violated the terms of SpaceX’s FAA test license, leading to an official investigation. It’s not clear just what the spaceflight firm did wrong, but it reportedly led to the company delaying the launch of its SN9 prototype past the originally planned January 28th date.
An FAA spokesman didn’t say how SpaceX violated terms, but did confirm the company had applied to modify its license and wouldn’t budge on rules. “The FAA will not compromise its responsibility to protect public safety,” the spokesman said. “We will approve the modification only after we are satisfied that SpaceX has taken the necessary steps to comply with regulatory requirements.”
Elon Musk clearly isn’t happy with the FAA, whatever the issue. The SpaceX founder recently accused the FAA of having a “fundamentally broken” approach to regulating spaceflight that was meant for a small number of non-reusable launches from government pads. In other words, he suggested that SpaceX’s goals for rapid, privately-launched reusable rockets were ahead of an outdated FAA approach.
SpaceX is no stranger to confronting the US government. It sued the US in 2014 for the right to compete for military launches, and sued again in 2019 over “wrongly awarded” rocket contracts. The company hasn’t hinted at a court battle over Starship, but it’s evident Musk and crew are determined to keep their next-generation rocket on track.

Unlike its aircraft division, which is fine, the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure.Their rules are meant for a handful of expendable launches per year from a few government facilities. Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2021

Here's How Much Money Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey & Other Billionaires Make In Their Sleep Every Night (Infographic)

Build a company, and you’ll monetize every last moment.
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February 1, 2021 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
According to some quick math from the folks over at People Who Sleep, billionaires rake in the cash even when they’re off in dreamland. Based on net worth counts from December 15, 2020:
And thanks to Tesla stock’s absolutely bonkers year, the award for highest earnings-per-minute in 2020 goes to Elon Musk, who raked in an astonishing $88.3 million. Every night. 
Here’s a look at how the leaders stack up. 

The numbers are eye-popping and even a little demoralizing at first glance. But they also bring up a good point: It’s hard to make it into big bucks territory unless you build up a team that can grow at scale. According to data from Fundera, 86.3% of small business owners make less than $100,000 per year in revenue, making the millions above feel like a pipe dream.
It doesn’t have to be that way. But you do need to work smarter and not harder if you want to move toward making money around the clock. To grow your company and reach your income goals, the time is now to start thinking about your team.
Related: 17 Passive Income Ideas for Increasing Your Cash Flow
Build a team that can take you higher
According to the Small Business Administration, 80% of small businesses in the U.S. are “nonemployers,” meaning that they have an employee count of zero. If you’re just getting started in business and don’t have the cash to put someone on salary, that doesn’t mean you should continue to wear all the hats yourself. Remember that money is a renewable resource, whereas time is not. 
Virtual assistants, personal assistants and administrative support are common first hires for entrepreneurs, and the time you free up by outsourcing tasks can help to grow your earning potential. Calculate how valuable your time is per hour, then look at your schedule; if anything on your to-do list could be outsourced for less than your hourly rate, it’s time to delegate.
Related: How to Delegate With Confidence
How to grow your business
In addition to asking for help, it helps to keep the overall big picture in mind. So here are a few other tips you’ll want to take into consideration as you build out your money machine.

Know when to hire employees versus contractors. Splurge on employees who will care about your company and contribute to internal culture. Outsource to contractors when you have a specific task that requires a specialized tradesperson. Most successful entrepreneurs leverage both workforces.

Sell. A lot. According to the National Federation Of Small Business, 82% of businesses that fail cite cash flow as their primary reason for shuttering. Let sales lead operations, and everything else can fall into place from there.

Keep your mind sharp. CEOs sleep, and you should too. Despite hustle culture’s prevalence in entrepreneurship, most of the CEOs listed still swing seven or eight hours a night of sleep in order to make the best decisions they can under pressure.

Related: 10 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep
“Make money while you sleep” is a favorite tagline for passive income entrepreneurs. But to do so, you’ll need to go beyond trading dollars for hours and think bigger. Assemble your dream team, offer a product that can be delivered without you and you’ll be well on your way to making sales even while you snooze.

How a Series of Elon Musk Tweets Helped Lead Investors to Dogecoin, a Meme-Inspired Cryptocurrency Worth 4 Cents

Dogecoin is a Shiba Inu-themed digital coin that became the latest obsession for Redditors and online investors.
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February 1, 2021 3 min read
“One word: Doge.”
In December of 2020, Elon Musk tweeted this simple statement, alluding to the Shiba Inu-themed digital coin, which started as a joke and which, as of closing on the day of Musk’s tweet, was worth all of 0.4569 cents. It wasn’t even the first time Musk had tweeted about Dogecoin. In July, he tweeted this photo:

It’s inevitable
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 18, 2020
Despite support from one of the biggest business names in the world, Dogecoin failed to hit even 1 cent in 2020. That changed early on in 2021, as the crypto doubled in value from January 1 to January 2, reaching a value of 1.1427 cents at closing. However, over the past couple of weeks, the cryptocurrency has been swept up in the deluge of investments inspired by Reddit’s WallStreetBets and the crypto-based SatoshiStreetBets, named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the presumed pseudonym of the bitcoin developer(s).
The crypto spiked from 0.7432 cents on January 27 to 5.1793 cents on January 29, before falling back to 3.9943 cents as of the time of this writing. Even that lower number represents a 437% growth in just a week, as more and more investors pour in and urge one another to “hold the line” and take Dogecoin “to the moon.” Of course, no one has been more thrilled about Dogecoin’s rise than the man who said way back in April of 2019, “Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2021
However, Mike Winters at Lifehacker notes that there’s a significant difference between investing in Dogecoin and the short squeeze related to stocks like GameStop and AMC. The latter, he says, were “an opportunity to stick it to Wall Street while also making some money on the side. It actually makes sense as a trade, albeit a risky one.” 
Dogecoin investment is different, in his opinion. He claims enthusiasts are simply bolstering the crypto’s value for fun, hoping to hold their positions until it reaches Reddit’s goal of $1. “In fact,” Winters writes, “there’s no particular reason why Dogecoin would be worth buying, aside from the fact that it’s basically Bitcoin named after a meme.”
If Musk has his way, though, maybe memes will be enough. He’s previously told news outlets that the most entertaining outcome would be if Dogecoin became the currency of earth in the future, explaining that while it may have started as a joke, “Fate loves irony.”