Exercising Consumer Choice at the Grocery Store
The supermarket can be a daunting place. It’s hard enough to get through your grocery list, let alone choose healthy and sustainable products amongst a retail sea of convoluted labeling and ever-competing prices.
The list of companies below are Certified B Corporations, meaning they meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance. And every time you choose a B Corp, you’re voting for more responsible practices at all levels of the business.
Whether it’s celebrating with friends and family at an upcoming holiday party, or practicing the art of “hygge” while wrapped in a blanket on the couch, rest assured with this list as your guide for your next grocery run.
Being able to buy pre-washed packaged organic greens at the local grocery store wasn’t always possible — until Earthbound Farm came along. What started thirty years ago as an organic alternative to chemical and pesticide-laden produce, has now become a pioneer in sustainable farming. Not only is Earthbound Farm 100 percent organic, it was the first to develop packaging to preserve freshness and quality, consequently bringing organic greens to the masses.
Danone North America was formed in April 2017, when Danone acquired WhiteWave Foods and united two companies with a shared commitment to purpose, growth and good food. Danone North America is the largest Certified B Corp in the world! Its brands include: Horizon Organics— a leader in healthy and sustainable dairy products; Silk—alternative dairy products; So Delicious—dairy-free products with an ethical supply chain.
The 1,000 family farms across the northeast that make up the Cabot Creamery believe that by taking care of the land, it takes care of them. Cabot takes a holistic approach from employing sustainable farming practices, (some farms even use cow manure to generate electricity) to making sure the cows are “stress-free” in order to produce the best milk.
Co-founders Samuel Kaymen and Gary Hirshberg didn’t set out to start a company. But when they started making and selling organic yogurt to fund their nonprofit organic-farming school, they knew they were on to something. Today, while Stonyfield has a network of hundreds of family farms spanning more than 200,000 acres of farmland, it still manages to stay close to its roots by being based in New Hampshire, where it all began.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the different egg carton labels at the supermarket, you’re not alone. But Pete and Gerry’s eggs will tell exactly what you’re getting. The company makes organic eggs that are free of antibiotics, synthetic pesticides, and are non-GMO; plus it is the first certified Certified Humane egg farm in the country. With bonafides like that, it’s a standout on the shelf.
Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, Peaceful Fruits uses sustainably produced fruit from the Amazon and beyond to craft natural, delicious fruit snacks. The company takes its mission into the production, too. For example, Peaceful Fruits employees adults with disabilities to produce the company’s products.
Founder and CEO Elizabeth Stein whipped up some baked goods to attract potential clients to her booth at a triathlon event for her health counseling services. However, it quickly became clear that the baked goods — made from superfoods like quinoa, hemp, chia seeds and coconut oil — were destined to be the main event. With ingredients that are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, and organic, Purely Elizabeth granola, energy bars and other products strike the perfect balance of delicious and nutritious.
It was in his mother’s kitchen where Ian and his co-founder Samantha prototyped their first batch of gluten-free cookies and fell in love in the process. The batch sold out at a local farmers market, and the rest is history. Not only are Emmy’s Organics cookies organic and non-GMO, they are produced in a wind- and solar-powered building. While the cookies are no longer baked in Ian’s mom’s kitchen, his mother, Emmy, is still a pretty important part of the company.
As co-owners and cocoa suppliers, the 85,000 farmers from the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana get “a share in the profits, a say in the company, and a voice in the global marketplace.” Positioning itself as a competitor in the mainstream chocolate market (as opposed to niche fair-trade markets), Divine Chocolate’s mission is to prove that it’s possible to achieve scale while maintaining the sustainable and ethical core of its business.
Having been exposed to the challenges of humanitarian efforts from the worlds of for-profit multinationals and NGOs, Alter Eco co-founders Mathieu Senard and Edouard Rollet decided that the solution to fighting social and economic injustice was entrepreneurship. Alter Eco uses the entrepreneurial model by sourcing from sustainable farmer-owned co-ops to produce delicious treats like coconut clusters and truffles. This in turn activates local economies and empowers farmers as small-business owners.
With flavors like “Americone Dream” and “Cherry Garcia,” Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors are as iconic as they are delicious. Like its ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s’ pioneering business values are in a class of their own. The Vermont-based company is “one of the first companies in the world to place a social mission in equal importance to its product and economic missions,” pioneering the triple-bottom-line model.
Not only does Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream take a moral stance by supporting local and sustainable family farms, but also believes that sourcing its ingredients from quality suppliers makes its ice cream taste better. And for Jeni’s, better means creamier, richer, and with some pretty inventive flavors. After tasting “Brown Butter Almond Brittle” and “Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet,” you’ll know that Jeni’s loves ice cream and wants you to love ice cream, too.