The Rise Of Climate Positive Food

By Sally Ho 20 January, 2021

Green Queen's Ho shows how snacks are going guilt-free, at least for the planet

Startups to big food companies are dishing out snacks that are actually good for the planet in a bid to keep up with the conscious consumerism trend; carbon-neutral snacks are hitting supermarkets
Walkers crisps will use carbon capture tech to cut their carbon emissions by 70% & are aiming to achieve 100% net-zero by improving soil health & possibly circular fertiliser
Meanwhile, Moonshot Snacks use ingredients sourced from farmers that are committed to regenerative agriculture and Impact Snacks reclaim more carbon than they take to produce

This article was first published on Green Queen on 21 Dec 2020. You can see the article here.

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.

New carbon-capture technology has cut emissions of Walker’s crisps by 70%…

…to achieve 100% net zero, PepsiCo may bring in “circular fertiliser”

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.”

“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.”

-David Wilkinson, senior director of European agriculture at PepsiCo

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 also see that consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability and, within that, climate change really stands out as an important issue for them.”

-Benjamin Pflieger of SnackFutures


“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 snacks use ingredients from farmers that are committed to regenerative agriculture…

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.

…meanwhile, Impact Snacks surpassed its USD20 Kickstarter goal in 13 hours

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.

Further reading

  • Making Cow Milk… Without The Cows: With 10 dairy companies emitting as much carbon as half of France, traditional dairy is not sustainable. As lab-made milk becomes reality, is it the beginning of the end for big dairy? Green Queen’s Sally Ho explores
  • 5 Reasons Plant-Based Will Be Unleashed In Asia – Are you ready for Asia’s plant-based revolution? David Yeung, Founder & CEO of Green Monday, shares 5 reasons its coming soon including that it is only a matter of time before the current global food system collapses
  • Food Revolution 5.0: Digital Printing Meat – Food Revolution 5.0., clean meat… Hong Kong is there. Get the latest from Professor Kenneth Lee of Chinese University of Hong Kong and hear more on his 3D printed foie gras
  • Water In: Beer, Crisps & Chocolate – Food & drink help create a festive atmosphere in Christmas but how much water do they use? China Water Risk’s Woody Chan looks into the water footprints of beer, chocolate & crisps, the impact on China & potential solutions
  • To Tea Or Not – Black, Green Or Milk? – Tea is the second most drunk beverage after coffee but what does it mean for water, for carbon? Does the type of tea matter? Plus, see what consumers can do to reduce impact

More on Latest

  • Cement’s Role In A Carbon-Neutral Future –  Energy Innovation’s Jeffrey Rissman shares how to achieve carbon-neutral for cement production by 2050 with the help of carbonation & potentially becoming a carbon-sequestering process
  • Bankable Nature Solutions: A Case Study – Is there a way to stop land subsidence, create climate resilience & raise farmers’ incomes? WWF’s Thomas Gomersall & Jean-Marc Champagne say the integrated rice & shrimp model does exactly that
  • 8 Brands Called Out For Greenwashing 2020  Businesses are more active in caring about people & planet but some are just greenwashing to sell more products & services. Eco-Business’s Robin Hicks called out 8 of them
  • Dreaming Of A Regenerative Economy?  Co-founder Dr. Simon J.D. Schillebeeckx explains how Handprint helps restore threatened ecosystems one micro purchase at a time by helping companies to integrate positive impact
  • Impact Of Urban Water Security On India’s Future  Cities are projected to contribute USD5trn by 2024 to India’s GDP yet they face different levels of water stress. Kubernein Initiative’s Priyanka Bhide shares ways to address them
Sally Ho
Author: Sally Ho
Sally Ho is Green Queen's resident writer and reporter. She studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science majoring in Politics and International Relations. A long-time vegan, she is passionate about environmental and social issues and hopes to promote healthy and sustainable lifestyle choices in Hong Kong and Asia.
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