Sustainability & Upcycling is What They’re Craving

Styling and Photography By Laurie Mosco

Jump to key Key Takeaways.

The top trend in food this year isn’t a flavor or cooking technique. It’s sustainability — specifically how that product and its packaging is helping to conserve natural resources.

Food waste and packaging are 2023’s top food trends according to market research firm Datassential. And food products identified as sustainable are growing 2.7 times faster than those not marketed as sustainable (Boston Consulting Group).

There are many different ways that brands are getting in on sustainability and upcycling.

To kick off Climate Week (September 17-24), we’re looking at our favorite sustainable sweet and snack brands.


One of the biggest draws right now in the sustainability space is upcycled foods products. It’s currently at $52 billion with predictions that it could grow to $83.26 Billion by 2032 (Food Navigator USA).  

Upcycled can be as simple as Uglies Potato Chips made with imperfect potatoes, helping to reduce food waste. 

The potatoes used in Uglies chips have slight imperfections, or are too small or too large to sell. These types of potatoes would be normally thrown out.

Their name might say “ugly”, but Uglies they’re full of beautiful flavors. Like Bar-B-Que, Buffalo Ranch, Jalapeno — even classics like Sea Salt and Salt & Vinegar.

Climate Candy

It’s not just savory items getting upcycled. There are some candy brands in the upcycled food category too – like Climate Candy.

They’re taking imperfect or unharvested fruits and veggies and using them to create their Faves chewy candies. 

Not only does Faves offer a delightful chew and popular flavors like Orange & Lemon and Strawberry & Cherry.  They offer 2 – 4 servings of fruit and are plant based too!


Just as appealing as food products made with upcycled ingredients, are products that come in recyclable or compostable packaging.  Half of consumers are willing to pay more for a product with sustainable packaging (McKinsey & Company).

LesserEvil Snacks straddles both worlds, offering a full array of snack foods made with sustainably sourced ingredients all in recycled packaging.  Added plus — their products are also made in the company’s eco-friendly factory.

All LesserEvil snacks are packed in biodegradable NEO plastic. The LesserEvil site says this special plastic makes gas when it breaks down in a landfill. That gas can be harvested as landfill energy, a green energy alternative.

Not only is LesserEvil helping to serve up a cleaner environment, it’s serving up cleaner versions of snacking classics too!

Like popcorn cooked in coconut oil and sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt. Grain-free Spicy Paleo puffs, and seed based Sun Poppers, offer better-for you alternatives to cheese curls.

Even kids can get in on the sustainable snacking fun. Like LesserEvil’s Interstellar Cheddar Space Balls, a vegan alternative to cheese balls. And Strawberry Beet Lil’ Puffs, grain-free, low sugar snacks for toddlers.


A food ingredient’s environmental impact is another way that brands are appealing to consumers want for sustainability.

Hippeas line of chickpea and yellow pea puffs, chips and straws are not only a satisfying snack, but they’re supporting sustainability. Chickpeas and yellow peas naturally help keep nutrients in the soil which is beneficial to farms.

Along with making consumers feel good about helping the environment, they can feel good about eating Hippeas snacks too. 

Each Hippeas snack offers a as high-fiber, better-for-you versions of classics we love. And their flavors like Nacho Vibes, Bohemian BBQ and Vegan White Cheddar are just as rockin’.


While many brands are re-thinking the ingredients they use to become more sustainable, there are brands Jasberry that have developed a completely new grain of rice to be sustainable.

Jasberry’s unique grain of rice is the result of a 12 year cross-breeding non-GMO growing method. It is grown using 25% less water, 50% less seeds all while offering higher yields than other rice types. This all helps to conserve resources

Not only is Jasberry rice super for the environment, it’s also antioxidant rich, meaning it’s a super food too. And its unique purple color makes a pretty presentation!         

In today’s market foods not only need to be fun and flavorful, they also need to be sustainable. From the use of upcycled food materials, to recycled packaging, to sustainable farming and manufacturing practices. There are many ways food brands are satisfying consumers need for sustainability.

Key Takeaways:
● Sustainability is a top food trend
● Consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging
● Foods made with upcycled ingredients are growing in demand
● You can see sustainability in all areas of the food industry including snacks, sweets and specialty food

We Have the Widest Assortment of Sustainable Wholesale Candy and Snacks

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