The UK startups leading the way in sustainable snacking

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

The UK's B-Corp movement is currently 2,000-strong and growing. Pic: GettyImages
The UK's B-Corp movement is currently 2,000-strong and growing. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags b corporation startups Snacks Sustainability Circular economy community governance diversity, equity and inclusion

The UK’s startup scene is bursting with innovative snack companies that have secured B-corp status, proving that snacking can be both morish and responsible.

B-Corp certification in the UK has seen significant growth, reflecting an increasing commitment to championing the very highest social, ethical and environmental standards.

Currently clocking in at over 2,000 certified B-Corp business (collectively employing over 81,000 employees), this is one of the largest B-Corp communities outside the US.

The UK B-Corp community celebrated reaching the 1,000 milestone in November 2022, hosting an event at the Natural History Museum that underscored the movement’s aim to create an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy:

  • All food (vegan and vegetarian) and drinks were supplied by B-Corps. All ingredients used were fairtrade.
  • A GoodBye Bar of B-Corp treats allowed guests to only take what they wanted, avoiding unnecessary swag and goody bags.
  • Transport of supplies to the venue was provided by a B-Corp’s zero emissions electric vehicle.
  • Zero waste from the event went to landfill.

Joining the movement

Several fast-growing snack brands are part of the UK’s B-Corp community, including Graze, Deliciously Ella and Eat Real, among others.

Founder - Popcorn Kitchen copy B- corp
Louise Monk, founder of Popcorn Kitchen

Another to recently join the ranks is Popcorn Kitchen.

Wheels were first put in motion in 2023, when two Cranfield University Business Management undergraduates kicked off a four month internship with the Woking-based company to lay out the foundations for its bid. B-Corp ambassador and founder of Business on Purpose Andy Hawkins and consultant Elizabeth Tate joined forces to ensure no stone was left unturned.

“We believe in the adage, go fast alone, go far together,” said Popcorn Kitchen founder Louise Monk.

A pioneer in the UK gourmet popcorn market since its inception in 2012, the company is lazer focused on quality – be that for its snacks or its focus on sustainability. It hand-pops its corn in small batches, using wholegrain ‘mushroom’ that results in light, fluffy popcorn with a definite crunch. It has also made significant strides in reducing its environmental impact by producing all packaging in the UK, using PET recyclable bottles and reducing plastic waste by 10%. It’s aim is to achieve full recyclability for its portfolio.

“Our plan for brand betterment has taken many guises, from joining the ByWomenBuilt alliance to embracing the very highest B-Corp standards,” said Monk.

“We have also aligned ourselves with ambitious movements for change including Reewild (which saw 1,347 new trees planted in 2022/23) and the bedding down of our Woodland Carbon code (removing 55 tonnes of carbon). Elsewhere our proud Sedex membership supports ethical supply chains; our tie with the Vegetarian Society means we do our bit supporting important minority food causes; and we put aside 2% of our overall revenue to support great causes like Fairshare.”

Transforming the UK snacking scene

B Corp Getty 2

These startups are part of a growing movement that prioritizes people and the planet alongside profit. B-Corp certification requires rigorous assessments across governance, workers, community, environment and customers, ensuring these companies meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance.

Graze has become a household name with its personalized, healthy snack boxes delivered directly to your door. The London-based B-Corp is committed to sourcing responsibly, reducing its environmental impact and maintaining high standards of employee welfare.

Pip & Nut has carved out a niche on the UK scene with its natural nut butters. The company prioritizes ethical sourcing (using only sustainably sourced nuts) and community impact (supporting initiatives that promote healthier lifestyles and food education).

Propercorn takes its B-Corp status seriously, evident in its use of non-GMO corn and eco-friendly packaging for its range of snacks targeting conscious consumers who crave both flavor and integrity​.

Founded by Ella Mills, Deliciously Ella has evolved from a food blog to a food brand that is making waves. Its snacks are plant-based and made from natural ingredients, while its B-Corp certification highlights its dedication to sustainable sourcing, environmental stewardship and fostering a positive workplace culture​.

Eat Real’s B-Corp certification underscores its mission to create snacks that are better-for-you and the planet, extending from ingredient sourcing to production processes that minimize environmental impact​.

London-based Snact is dedicated to “saving wasted fruit, one pieces at a time” by promoting a circular economy by transforming surplus ‘ugly’ fruit into dried fruit snacks and tackling food waste head-on.

​So next time you reach for a snack, consider choosing one from these pioneering startups. You’ll be making a choice that’s good for you and the planet.

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