Making your sauces and seasonings green and local

Learn how food manufacturers show they care about the environment and local food.

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How can food manufacturers of sauce or seasoning show their consumers they care about the environment and local food? Mintel, a global leading research company, provides sound advice for local companies in their subscription-based article called “How to Future-Proof Sauces and Seasonings on Sustainability.” Below are major findings in the article.

Recyclable or compostable packaging is one tool to show how environmentally friendly (green) and local a food company is. Although two-third of sauce and seasoning companies use green packaging, they need to take it a step further and call this out on their label for the climate-anxious shopper. Metal, glass, cardboard and rigid plastic called PET are all recyclable and therefore considered green packaging, according to Mintel. PET plastic containers all have the number 1 in the recycling triangle on the package for easy identification. Using recycled plastic for the container is also a tool that can be used and noted on the label. Some companies even go as far as enabling the consumer to mail the package back for recycling or upcycling the product.

Refillable green packages for seasoning is another green practice that reduces packaging needs for the overall product and is environmentally friendly. Ensuring the interior lining of a seasoning package is green is also an important component to ensuring the total package is recyclable or compostable. Offering green refill packages offers a complete circle for the environmentally conscious consumer.

Marketing the carbon footprint of a package and perhaps the product itself is another tool that speaks to the climate-anxious shopper. From food carbon emissions calculators to carbon footprint labeling companies, there are plenty of tools at hand to help companies market this on their product label to consumers.

Sustainably farmed ingredients and upcycling waste ingredients are touchpoints that companies can clearly and openly market on their labels. Mintel reports that “sauces and seasonings with sustainably farmed ingredients are still niche but increasingly important for shoppers.” Marketing how ingredients are sourced, what percentage of ingredients are local, and how much is upcycled surplus waste ingredients are three examples of sustainability marketing that can be used on labels. Mintel found that 62% of consumers believed that “food made from leftovers has a high/moderate positive impact on the environment.” An example of food companies upcycling food ingredients is the brand Wonky, who uses imperfect/surplus fruit and vegetables in some of their products.

See the ecolabels in the U.S. index here that offers useful links to more information on each specific label.

The Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Product Center provides business counseling and helps entrepreneurs launch new food products. One specialized service provided is the development of Nutrition Facts labels. Food businesses may contact the Product Center for assistance with labeling.

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