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    A Guide to Sustainable Snacking

    The appeal of sustainable snacking is evident in search patterns, with searches of ‘plant-based snacks’ for example, rising by 90% over the past 12 months. Consumers levels of awareness to the impact of non recyclable packaging and how ingredients are sourced are at an all time high. 

    "What is sustainable snacking and what does it mean to me?"

    Consumer decisions are now, more often than not, made from an ethical perspective. Products and retailers who meet certain sustainable standards are proving highly popular, especially those who've responded through tackling waste reduction, supporting ethical sourcing, raising moral consumption and through a smarter use of ingredients. You can see all Epicurium's sustainable ranges here.

    Helping to empower people to snack right by providing the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way is key for any subscription box, convenience retailer or in fact any one else in between, looking to keep up with what shoppers want in 2020. Read on to discover how you can embrace the drive towards sustainable snacking... 

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    What is Sustainability About?

    Sustainability can be defined as a focus on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars - economic, environmental, and social - these are also known informally as profits, planet, and people. Very much in vogue, next month sees the annual World Environment Day - June 5th - which aims to highlight the impact people are making on the planet and how we can all look to better and more sustainable choices.

    sustainable-epicuriumSustainability in the food sense of the word, are those food items which are good for our environment, as well as our bodies. Snack brands for example are taking this trend head. Did you know 1 in 3 consumers switched brands to one with more sustainable packaging whilst 56% of UK shoppers state “I feel better in myself when I buy products that I know are sustainable or better for the environment" according to research by Uniliver last year.

    Snacking has a bad rap when it comes to sustainability - especially around packaging and the ingredients sourced in production. Whether wrapped in wasteful packaging, or made in an environment that puts its workers at risk, perceptions of snacking when it comes to sustainable credentials, haven't always been the strongest. However, times are changing and outlets are responding to consumer demands. Snacking has become better for you and the planet. Shoppers are taking note and so should you.

    Influence on Snacking 

    The FMCG sector is working hard to reduce wasteful packaging. Brands are also looking at using more sustainable food sources which is something we’ll see more of over in the next 12 months. Consumers love a snack to grab ‘on the go’, but some could be less drawn to non-sustainable options. Snacks in biodegradable or recyclable packaging using ethically sourced ingredients will help to overcome this barrier.

    Sustainable snacks are something that’s part of a global shift towards a more eco-friendly way of life. Tapping into national campaigns can help retailers select the very best products to tie in with these high profile campaigns. Here are some of the major campaigns you may have heard about and consumers will have likely be aware of...

    • Hugh’s War on Waste
    • Blue Planet II
    • Sugar Tax
    • WRAP UK's Battle Against Plastic

    It's not just snack brands who've taken note, an increasing number of retailers have too. Whether it’s in a café, work place environment or a display within a convenience retail store, highlight your sustainable options though bold signage and draw consumers in! Help ethically minded consumers see that you care too and you’re offering them even more choice when it comes to their snacks. We know that 1 in 4 people say that they snack multiple times a day and it’s likely a number of this catchment will opt for a sustainable option given the choice. So what are consumers looking for and how have habits changed?

    Five Ways Consumers are Embracing Sustainable Choices

    En mass, people are looking at more sustainable ways to live and their daily snacking habit is also evolving too. Sustainable living is a huge growing trend and one which people are responding to in a big way. Whether they’re conscious of their meat and diary consumption or use of single-use plastics or they have an urge to recycle more and waste less, brands are making the most of this opportunity to entice consumers to try new snack options as they make changes to their shopping and eating habits.

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    Recycle - One of the biggest changes consumers can make is how much they recycle and reduce waste. Snackers are savvy in their choices, by offering healthy snacks with recycled or paper packaging, you’re tapping into this market. Many of our brands are beginning to use recycled packaging which hits all the right notes with certain consumer groups!

    The rise in compostable claims - Did you know that snacks are now available in wrappers that can be fully composted? This means the packaging will break down in the same way as food waste which is great news for the environment! Enjoying guilt-free snacks is an extra yummy bonus!

    Eating less meat and dairy - Reducing our reliance on meat and dairy in our snacking choices can have a huge impact on the environment. There’s been a huge rise in veganism and it’s no surprise that 1 in 3 Brits have stopped or reduced their meat consumption. As people look to cut our unnecessary meat and dairy from their diet, they need snacks that will hit this mark. Look for vegan friendly snacks to make the most of this growing group of consumers

    Demand for alternative proteins - Eco friendly ingredients and sustainable sources of protein are something consumers can make the most of when it comes to snacking healthily. We’re seeing a rise in proteins like pea and even crickets within healthy options – stock a wide range to provide an excellent choice for those looking for their next protein hit.

    Responsibly sourced ingredients - Consumers are looking more and more at the brands they choose and their back story. Savvy shoppers are in the know and keen to support brands they like. Brands that used responsibly sourced ingredients, pay their workers well and support conservation all hit the mark. Think sustainable first when it comes to stocking your snack selection.

    A Sustainable Case Study

    Tony’s Chocolonely

    This vibrant brand is working hard to make 100% slave free chocolate the norm. It’s a shocking fact that farmers who produce cocoa to fuel the global market are often underpaid which has resulted in poverty, child labour and sadly slavery.

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    The Problem

    According to Tony’s, there are 2.5 million cocoa farming families in Ghana and the Ivory Coast who produce more than 60% of the world’s cocoa. The average cocoa farmer in the Ivory Coast earns just 67 euro cents a day – a very low amount that means many are unable to support their families. Sadly, in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, 2.1 million children work under illegal conditions because the harvest doesn’t give their family the income they need – Tony’s are working hard to change that. The brand also claims that thousands of people are subject to slavery and forced to grow cocoa without being paid for it.

    The Goal

    Tony’s aim to make 100% slave free the norm in chocolate – for all chocolate worldwide. The brand has created a roadmap to outline their long-term goals:

    • Create awareness - shout out about the issue
    • Lead by example - do things the right way and show others how it should be done
    • Tony’s inspires to act - inspiring key players to take action

    The Results

    So far The brand is making a huge impact for communities is Ghana and the Ivory Coast. They’ve sold a tremendous 36.5 million chocolate bars this year alone. They’ve purchased 7,106,000 kilos of cocoa beans purchased which is all purchased directly. This makes them unique in that they know exactly where, how and by whom its cocoa is produced! They’re working with 5,021 farmers which means thousands of families are enjoying a better income through working with the organisation. So, every bite really does help – encourage your customers to choose something a little different to enjoy – it could be life changing.

    Now we've given you the insight why sustainability is a red hot topic, what are the best products to tap in to this demand?

    Perfect Products to Stock

    Snact - RRP £0.89 snactfruitjerkyveganepicurium-300x300
    Snact makes deliciously sustainable fruity snacks from surplus produce. The products save surplus fruit and turn them into tasty snacks, packed with nutrients. This engaging brand has been making delicious sustainable snacks to tackle food waste since 2013. They originally started making their first product by hand from fruit collected at wholesale markets. The business grew following a successful crowdfunding campaign and the first packs were launched in stores from the end of 2015. These are great snacks to grab ‘on the go’, suitable for the commute, the office or even at the gym! The products are all packed in home compostable packaging so they’re innovative as well as tasty!
     
    Stoats- RRP £1.89
    The team behind the Stoats porridge bars and pots are very conscious of their environmental responsibilities, it’s the reason you’ll find no palm oil in their products and the reason that their bakery - which still hand makes every bar they sell - recycles 94% of its waste. Products are packaged in compostable ‘NatureFlex’ packaging, and they’re also removing plastic lids from the porridge pots in 2020. Stoats are a committed to plant-based products as well as being eco-friendly. From ‘on the go’ snacking to savouring with a cup of tea, their oat bar range is a great filling option for consumers – perfect for bridging the gap between meals.
     
    Dash Water - RRP £1.29
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    Dash make British sparking spring water infused with wonky fruit and vegetable for subtle dash of flavour. Products are made up of just three simple ingredients; spring water, wonky fruit and veg and of course bubbles. More than 50 million tonnes of fruit and vegetables grown across Europe were discarded in the last year. DASH uses produce that ordinarily would be thrown away for being ‘too ugly’ for the supermarkets. This refreshing offer is a great sparkling treat to enjoy at any time of day.
     
    Kriket - RRP £2.45
    Crunchy cricket bars from Kriket are convenient, nutritious and 100% future-proof - made from a sustainable source of protein. Handy grab and go bars bring consumers a delightful blend of roasted hazelnuts, oat flakes, sesame seeds and cricket flour. Packed with micronutrients, high in protein and fibre, it’s a great snack to bolster energy levels and can be enjoyed as part of a gluten-free diet. Kriket offer the world’s first ever organic insect product made with one of nature’s most abundant ingredients so it’s one to watch this year! Delight consumers with this break from the norm – they might just love it.
     
    Tony's - RRP £1.69
    Tony’s Chocolonely are incredibly tasty chocolate bars. This standout brand leads by example to show the world that chocolate can be made differently; in terms of taste, packaging and the way cocoa farmers are treated. This high-profile brand is one to watch. They’re on a pioneering mission to make Slave Free Chocolate the norm, tackling the chocolate industry from within. Consumers will love their retro packaging and bright colours – it’s a perfect treat for those enjoying a coffee or even a movie night in.
     

    Sustainable Opportunities

    Sustainability is a trend that is rapidly gathering pace, in particular the war on plastic wastage. Having a wider selection of trendy health drinks also not only begins opening existing customers to a wider selection of options, but also help to attract a new audience to your business and helps keeps a sense of wellness when working from home. Key to achieving this success is the ability to react quickly to trends, keeping stock levels nimble and finding the right mix of popular challenger brands and niche new finds. If you're interested in keeping up with the latest trends for 2020, then we are the ideal partner to work with.
     
    To discover more about the fun world of healthier snacking browse our website or alternatively get in touch with a member of our team to discuss how to integrate new ranges into your snack and drink mix. With a quick turnaround of 24-48 hours, no minimum order and free delivery on any order over £80, our team here at Epicurium can have you tapping into the newest healthier snacks, from the UK and further afield, in no time.
     
     Stay safe everyone - Team Epicurium