Climate friendly snacking quickly becoming the next new megatrend

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Bright Future Foods Airly Oat Cloud Crackers, which are designed to reverse climate change. Pic: Bright Future Foods
Bright Future Foods Airly Oat Cloud Crackers, which are designed to reverse climate change. Pic: Bright Future Foods

Related tags Post holdings Anheuser-busch inbev climate friendly Carbon dioxide emissions Sustainability Bright Foods EverGrain spent grains Oats

Sure to set the bar is the collaboration announced between the subsidiaries of two CPG giants to explore opportunities to create food products that will address the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.

Consumers care about sustainability more than ever and are increasingly basing their purchasing decision on treats that are planet-friendly, even planet-enhancing.

According to Nielsen, almost half of US consumers are likely to change what they buy to meet environmental standards. These consumers are putting their dollars where their values are and spent $128.5bn on sustainable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products in 2018 – forecast to tip $150bn by 2021.

These sentiments are already translating into real shifts in the industry, with an increasingly raft of planet-friendly launches, such as Zeelandia and FrieslandCampina's carbon-free cheesecake,​ Impact Snacks' superfood bars​ and the Mondelez-backed NoCOé.

Good for people AND the planet

A new collaboration between Anheurser-Busch’s EverGrain and Post Holdings’ Bright Future Foods – announced on Earth Day (22 April) – will undoubtedly motivate a bigger push into this arena.

The partnership builds on Bright Future Foods’ first product launch – Airly Oat Cloud Crackers – touted as the first ever climate-positive snack. The crackers are made with oats, which the company says have a negative carbon footprint. In fact, it claims each box of Airly crackers sold will even remove greenhouse gases from the air.

According to CEO Mark Izzo, Bright Future Foods is pioneering climate friendly snacking that starts with greenhouse gas removing grains and targeted sustainable agriculture practices. The incubator was created by Post Holdings to identify “new technologies, business models and trends that have the potential to disrupt the food and beverage industry.”

This provides the perfect foil for EverGrain – created by AB InBev last year to find uses for the spent grain from its brewery processes.

EverGrain currently has two product lines – EverPro and EverVita – that can be used across a range of applications, such as the plant-based barley milk line Take Two. Additional products are slated to hit the market later this year.

“This collaboration allows us both to leverage our deep-rooted knowledge in agriculture and food processing to pioneer creative and sustainable new solutions for tackling the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges,”​ said Izzo.

There are no products identified yet, but the duo said they will focus on snacks that are good for both people and the plant, formulated using EverGrain’s circularly sourced barley protein and fibre, and Bright Future Foods’ climate-positive oats.

“We are thrilled to partner with Bright Future Foods on reimagining the food supply chain and developing products that are nutritious, great tasting and sustainable,”​ said Greg Belt, EverGrain CEO.

“They are pioneering new ways to help address climate change through food and we are proud to partner with them on that journey.”

US investment

AB said the development of the EverGrain plant is part of a broader $1bn investment in its US operations over the next two years. Last month, the company said it was spending almost $100m to transform the historic Stockhouse 10 building on AB InBev’s St. Louis campus into its North American headquarters.

“Changing the future of the food and beverage industry starts with looking to our communities for opportunities to do better,”​ added Belt.

“That’s why we’re thrilled to have found a partner to join us in our mission, that also happens to be our neighbour in St. Louis.”

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