From startups to big food companies, brands are now dishing out snacks that aren’t just marketed as delicious, but actually good for the planet. In a bid to keep up with the conscious consumerism trend, the latest thing to make its way to supermarkets all around the world are carbon neutral snacks – so you can graze throughout the day knowing that it doesn’t contribute to your food footprint.
Carbon Capture-Backed Snacks
While you might think that carbon neutral snacks are still a niche product on the market, it turns out that some of the biggest food players are now in on it. Yes, even your favourite bag of Walkers crisps are now inching towards carbon neutral, thanks to its parent company PepsiCo’s decision to partner with British clean tech firm CCm Technologies.
By using carbon-capture technology, Oxford-based CCm Technologies will help Walkers turn its potato peelings that are leftover from its factories into new low-carbon fertiliser, which can then be used to grow the very potatoes that end up in each bag of crisps. After an initial trial this year, Walkers says it will now be installing CCm’s equipment to its Leicester-based factory in 2021, and will be able to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 70% in their crisps line.
To get to the finish line of making its deep fried snacks 100% net-zero, PepsiCo says that it will be looking into researching now to improve soil health further to bolster carbon sequestration, and may even bring its new “circular fertiliser” made from food waste to more of its brands, such as those made using crops like oats and corn.
“This is just the beginning of an ambitious journey, we’re incredibly excited to trial the fertiliser on a bigger scale and discover its full potential,” said David Wilkinson, senior director of European agriculture at PepsiCo. “This initiative is a step in the right direction, and we will continue working hard to lower the carbon impact of our products from field, through manufacturing sites, to consumption.”
PepsiCo isn’t the only food conglomerate tapping into the carbon neutral wave, with rival Mondelez now also innovating in that direction. The multinational recently launched NoCOé, a new brand of crackers, which was developed by its R&D and innovation hub SnackFutures to capitalise on the emerging trend driven by eco-conscious younger generations of shoppers.
Carbon Neutral Snacks
Just launched this month, NoCOé marks Mondelez’s very first carbon neutral snack label, and is now available across French supermarket chain Franprix and online retailers in the country. It comes in three flavours – sea salt, rosemary and chilli – and are all made from a diverse range of plant-based crops such as spelt, hemp, quinoa and pumpkin seeds.
Speaking about the new carbon neutral brand, Benjamin Pflieger of SnackFutures told FoodNavigator that today’s snackers “are looking for values or purpose in brands.”
“We see consumers moving away from the traditional three meals a day and towards snacking. We also see that consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability and, within that, climate change really stands out as an important issue for them,” he added. “This is why we decided to start NoCOé focused on climate change. To snack-ify climate change.”
But while big brands are now hopping on the bandwagon, startups have been busy developing sustainable carbon neutral snacks, and have been leading the way in their own right.
Regenerative Agriculture-Backed Snacks
Take Planet FWD, for instance, a startup that just launched Moonshot Snacks, its vegan-friendly, organic, kosher and non-GMO healthy cracker brand that leaves behind no carbon footprint. It’s unique selling point is using ingredients that are sourced from farmers that are committed to regenerative agriculture practices, which helps to promote biodiversity, carbon-capture in soil, and improves watersheds.
Moonshot’s crackers come in three flavours – sourdough sea salt, rosemary garlic and tomato basil – available via the company’s direct-to-consumer website and in plastic-free e-commerce platform Zero.
Carbon Positive Snacks
Then there’s Impact Snacks, the Boston-based brand that claims to be the world’s first snack company that actually reclaims more carbon than it makes and produces. Their 100% plant-based superfood bars are packaged in a plastic-free home-compostable wrapper – and it’s all supported by their very own app that helps fund social and environmental projects that customers using their “carbon credits” can choose.
Within months of setting up shop, Impact Snacks has already gained a major following with conscious consumers, being fully funded by a Kickstarter campaign and surpassing its goal of US$20,000 in just 13 hours.
Lead image courtesy of NoCOé.