New Snacks With Soul
It’s possible to satisfy your hunger while supporting worthy causes. The next time you feel the urge for a pick-me-up, try one of the following new products. They’re all produced by companies with a charitable mission, whether it involves donating their goods or a portion of their earnings or following sustainable practices.
- Mushroom jerky: Normally, shiitake mushroom stems are discarded. However, Vegky—founded in 2019—found a clever use for them: a vegan replacement for beef jerky. High in fiber, the deceptively meaty snack is made with sustainably-grown non-GMO mushrooms and comes in five flavors (Original, Spicy, Pepper, Curry, and Wasabi). Five percent of profits are donated to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
- Fruit bites, plantain chips, flavored popcorn, and more: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” goes the popular saying. The nonprofit, Women’s Bean Project, applies that maxim to women who are fighting addiction, homelessness, and incarceration. The organization teaches participants how to produce and package foods, including its new snacks: Mango Pomegranate Coconut Bites, Chili Picante Plantain Chips, Ginger Zing Trail Mixes, Thai Curry Cashews, Chili Spiced Mango, and Rainbow Popcorn with Himalayan Salt and Pepper Seasoning. Hand-packed in 100% post-consumer recycled material, the products help women in need gain skills and income.
- Dried fruit: Fruit peel is loaded with fiber. With this in mind, RIND Snacks produces snacks from fruit whose skins have not been removed. Coco-Melon (with watermelon, cantaloupe, and coconut) is the company’s newest flavor; others include Straw-Peary, Orchard, Tropical, and Tangy Kiw Along with minimizing food waste, the company donates its snacks to schoolchildren in need, through its new Love is RIND program.
- Snack bars: Every 11 seconds, a child dies from severe acute malnutrition, according to the company, This Saves Lives. To decrease that number, the business donates a life-saving food packet for every one of the snack bars it sells. To date, says its website, that’s added up to nearly 25 million nutrition-rich kits. Unicorn Sprinkle Surprise(for kids) and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut (for adults) are two of the many new offerings, all non-GMO project-verified and gluten-free. The kids line is free of eight common allergens (like nuts) and includes fruits and vegetables.
- Protein bars: Famed for its nut butters, Justin’s recently launched a line of chilled protein bars, in Almond Butter, Honey Almond Butter, and Dark Chocolate Chip Almond Butter. In addition to hewing to sustainable practices and using local ingredients, the company donates to organizations that feed the hungry, including Conscious Alliance, Metro Caring, and Harvest of Hope Pantry.
- Energy bars and nut bars: KIND Snacks takes charitable giving seriously. In fact, the company runs a full-fledged 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The KIND Foundation, through which it runs various programs. Among them, it provides frontline workers with products and services (Frontline Impact Project); and connects students worldwide via a free online learning tool (Empatico). Recently, the brand introduced a line of energy bars, whose first ingredient is whole grains; the snacks boast 10 grams of protein and, according to KIND’s website, “35% less sugar than the leading energy bars.” Also new are KIND® Thins, slimmer bars with 100 or fewer calories and four grams of sugar. These gluten-free snacks feature a layer of nuts sandwiched by a chocolate or caramel drizzle.