(NEW YORK) — From snacks and condiments to drinks, more consumer product goods have leaned into environmentally responsible practices. As food businesses continue to adapt to the times, it’s easier than ever for shoppers to support brands with products that taste great and help the earth along the way.
Whether it’s a fully sustainable supply chain, ethically sourced ingredients, upcycling or zero-waste packaging, these are a handful of brands who are doing it right:
The zero-waste pantry line from plant-based restauranteur and chef Camilla Marcus utilizes low-impact plastic-free packaging such as sustainably-sourced wood cellulose pouches, sugarcane paper labels and soy ink.
The California-based company commits to low-impact products and a transparent supply chain, offsetting its carbon footprint on each order through investing in The Garcia River Project, a redwood forest preservation and management project that protects carbon reservoirs, preserves wildlife habitats, reduces the risk of wildfires and safeguards the California watershed.
Founder and CEO Oded Brenner left his successful international chocolate restaurant chain to forge a new path in the industry working with farmers in Ecuador to utilize the entire cacao fruit — shells, beans, fruit and all — to create wholesome nutritent-rich treats that take upcycled food to the next level.
“I am thrilled to finally share Blue Stripes, an urban cacao wellness brand, with the world and showcase the diversity of the cacao fruit,” Brenner said. “Especially because until today more than 70% of the fruit was wasted, and by using the entire fruit, we’re forming a sustainable structure that is a win/win for the consumer, farmer and the planet.”
His 15 products help curb wasteful practices and utilize every aspect of the crop; from the whole granola that’s made with a proprietary cacao shell flour to the cacao water made from the white, fleshy pulp that surrounds the beans.
“Upcycling ingredients is not just a way of bringing delicious products to consumers, but is also our duty to Mother Nature,” he added.
Sun & Swell
This zero-waste, plant-based, organic, healthy foods brands is helping alleviate the snack industry of plastics with their fully compostable packaging. With sustainability as its main priority, the company works to create a circular food economy by turning its over 100 products’ packaging back into farmable soil.
“We offer a send back program where [customers] send the used packages back in a prepaid return envelope and we will compost for them,” the company stated. “We have a number of composting partners and once we sort through the returned packages at our headquarters — we bring them to our partners to compost. Our bags will decompose within 180 days in an industrial compost setting.”
The brand is on a mission to make healthy, organic, less-processed and sustainable snacks more affordable and accessible for everyone.
“We understand that the products we sell have an effect on not just our own health but on that of the planet,” CEO Charles Coristine said in a statement. “The agricultural practices — and their resulting waste practices — that bring food to our customers’ homes directly impact the environment.”
From plant-based Sun Poppers made from upcycled watermelon and pumpkin seeds and PeaNOTS made with water-efficient organic peas, LesserEvil offers a wide range of sustainable snacks.
The company also partners with NEO Plastics to package all of its snacks and help minimize waste and their overall carbon footprint.
Not many beverage brands can boast a sustainability model that is plastic negative — a company that supports companies in the reduction of disposable plastic until its complete elimination. In fact, ZenWTR was the first and only to receive such certification for its innovative bottles, which are made of 100% recycled, certified ocean-bound plastic.
The vapor-distilled alkaline water company supports new recycling economies by creating demand for ocean-bound plastic and is on track to rescue 50 million pounds of it by 2025.
The brand’s unique supply chain — rescuing and reusing this category of waste to create a product — could change how other food and beverage brands think about plastic. Plus, 1% of its sales go directly to charities and organizations that are dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and marine environments on top of recycling education and advocacy.
The recently certified B Corp and sustainably minded coffee company makes 100% plant-based, dairy- and refined sugar-free products for coffee lovers, baristas and a better planet.
The company, which is one of a small handful of carbon neutral food and beverage companies, called it’s certification earlier this month, “more than just a sustainability label” but rather, “a movement with the collective goal of transforming the global economy to benefit people, communities, and the planet.”
“At the time of writing, we’re one of just 4,856 B Corps globally and we’re proud to be among the ranks of companies setting the new standard for the way business should be done,” the company said.
While not a food product for consumption, this company said it created the first 100% home-compostable, zero-waste functional alternative to Cling Wrap and Resealable Bags. Plus, the easy sustainable swaps break down in home compost quicker than an orange peel.
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