Environmental expectations

Several natural and organic brands are taking sustainability efforts a step further with an eye to the increasingly savvy, environmentally aware consumer, Ms. Blumenfeld said. 

Kashi Cinnamon Toast cereal“This is about brands that aren’t just giving money to an environmental organization but have an environmental mission baked into the very core of the company,” she said. “That could be a sustainable packaging initiative or a sourcing initiative. It’s really about brands that go above and beyond because today’s consumers are environmentally aware and very focused on the details.”

Despite growing demand for organic foods and beverages, less than 1% of U.S. farmland is certified organic, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kashi is doing its part to increase organic acreage by supporting farmers through the three-year transition process from conventional to organic. In 2016, the Kellogg subsidiary partnered with Quality Assurance International to establish the Certified Transitional program and has committed to sourcing Certified Transitional ingredients from more than 4,200 acres of U.S. farmland to manufacture cereal and snacks.

“They’re not just sourcing organic; they’re actively working to make organic more accessible,” Ms. Blumenfeld said.

An innovative packaging solution comes from Cacoco, a maker of drinking chocolate. The products feature a recycled paperboard printed with vegetable ink and held together with origami rather than glue. The inner clear wood-pulp bag is made from certified compostable and biodegradable materials.

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