Photo via Happy Viking
EXECUTIVES & ENTREPRENEURS

Venus Williams’ Happy Viking: Building a Plant-based Revolution

The tennis icon’s Happy Viking superfood brand announces an all-new plant nutrition powder

Venus Williams does not demand perfection when it comes to what to eat. She just wants consumers to have more options.

Enter Happy Viking. The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion was first inspired to create Happy Viking after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2011, which moved her to adopt a plant-based diet. Happy Viking’s first product, a daily plant protein shake, launched in 2020.

Today, the Happy Viking family expands, introducing Happy Viking Superfood Complete Plant Nutrition Powders.

As more plant-based options permeate the public’s consciousness, Williams thinks there’s no better time to make lifestyle adjustments. 

“Being vegan and plant-based has come such a long way. There’s so many options now, and being part of that plant-based revolution — I love being part of that,” she told Boardroom.

Becoming a picture-perfect vegan isn’t the primary focus for Williams. She still jokingly refers to herself as a “chea-gan,” with a laugh, noting that sometimes, she cheats.

Getting to where she is today took a lot of trial and error, and Williams suggests curious individuals try the 80/20 method — going plant-based 80% of the time while indulging in foods outside of the lifestyle 20%. 

“I wanted to have the opportunity to let other people enjoy this lifestyle and enjoy the opportunity to fuel their bodies because the better you fuel it, the better you feel,” Williams said. “There’s no such thing as perfect but the opportunity to fuel your body the best way, as often as possible.”

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Williams understands that people consider prioritizing healthy eating — most notably, a plant-based diet — expensive or inconvenient, and hopes her Happy Viking products can ease those qualms. 

“I love the opportunity to be able to condense these nutrients into one meal,” Williams said. “So that way, if you don’t have the opportunity to be able to afford that in every single meal, at least you know that you’re getting it in this moment that can last you through the day.” 

Most importantly, if the plant-based community wants to continue to grow and garner interest from prospective individuals, Williams thinks it’s got to have one important motivator. 

“It’s got to have soul,” Williams said. “If it’s soulless, we go away from it.”