Sustainable Snacking

Each week, our office receives a snack delivery from FreshDirect. Our order typically includes apples, bananas, coffee and of course, Snyder’s Honey Mustard & Onion pretzel pieces. Because we view ourselves as a “green” office, I decided to see how sustainable our favorite snack is using the GoodGuide rating system.

The GoodGuide rates products on a scale of 0-10 (0 being the worst and 10 being the best). Each product is rated for health, environment and society. The final score you see is a combination of the three scores, with the option to see the breakdown of the products rating in each category.

As soon as the snack shipment arrived, I grabbed the bag so I could scan the barcode on the side of the packaging to see the pretzels’ rating (a nice feature of the app that makes it easy to use when you’re in a rush at the store).

Overall, Honey Mustard & Onion pretzels were only a 3.7! Here’s what the GoodGuide had to say about this product:

  • Human Health Impacts: 3.0, this product has an average nutrition score.
  • Environment: 4.2, this company’s environmental policies, practices and performance place it among the worst 50% of companies rated by the GoodGuide.
  • Society: 4.0, this company’s social policies, practices and performance place it among the worst 50% of companies rated by GoodGuide.

To be honest, I’m not sure why a 3.0 for Health is considered average (shouldn’t 5 be the average?). Regardless, this Snyder’s product is clearly not performing well in any category.

Another convenient feature of this app is that it suggests alternative products that are similar but have a higher score. GoodGuide suggested ten comparable snacking options that scored either a 7.4 or a 7.5, a big jump from 3.7. As an office, we have agreed that any of these are a better option than the pretzels we currently order.

Consumers don’t always know the full impacts of the products they are buying. However, apps like GoodGuide force companies to be more transparent and accountable for their actions. Also, with features like the “alternative products” list, consumers can take back control of their footprint and purchase more sustainable foods and products.

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