CHICAGO — SnackFutures, the innovation and venture hub of Mondelez International, Inc., has joined the Upcycled Food Association, a non-profit organization focused on reducing food waste.
Since its launch in late 2018, SnackFutures has created and introduced five well-being snack brands in the United States and Europe, including two that are formulated with ingredients that would otherwise be wasted. CaPao Fruit Bites features parts of the cacaofruit that are traditionally discarded after cocoa beans are extracted for chocolate production. Dirt Kitchen Snacks is a line of air-dried crisps made from vegetables that normally become on-farm waste due to surplus, ripeness or bruising.
“There is nothing but upside to using upcycled ingredients,” said Brigette Wolf, global head of SnackFutures at Mondelez International. “By creating brands built on the promise of reducing food waste, we provide a growing generation of ‘ethical consumers’ a snackable way to act on their convictions, do right by the planet and build our relevance, reputation and revenue streams as a snack leader.”
The Upcycled Food Association, formed in 2019, has partnered with industry, academic researchers and non-profit groups to establish a definition of upcycled foods as “those made with ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment.” Launching later this year, the Upcycled Certification Program allows brands and businesses to apply for a third-party certification of ingredients and products.
“Upcycled is still a very new term, and without proper context it can be a bit confusing,” said Turner Wyatt, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Upcycled Food Association. “That’s why I love that SnackFutures is able to ‘consumerize’ upcycling through snacking, and create a simple, actionable way for consumers to make an impact.”
SnackFutures also recently announced the launch of CoLab, a startup engagement program for early-stage well-being snack brands based in the United States. The team has immersed itself in the entrepreneurial community to gain insights, discover trends and understand key business challenges startups face. Brands may apply and learn more at snackfutures.com.