How sustainable are your favourite brands?

News, blog and backgrounds about the sustainability scores of brands

Crisps brands reviewed and ranked

Unfortunately for us, Holland’s progress in the European Football Championships has come to an end and so this message (for those looking for a snack during the game) comes a little too late. However, in the case of the crisp industry, it is also unfortunate that we don’t have a lot of positive notes to report back on. We have reviewed some of the major crisp manufacturing brands, and have to conclude that the industry has not scored more than a meagre ‘D’. That”s insufficient in our rankings!

While other food sectors have some lasting precursors who have set the tone within the sector (Tony”s Chocolonely for chocolate and Oggu for soft drinks) for the crisp brands it is not the case. The main reason for the overall poor performance in the sector: lack of clarity.

The brands we reviewed (see above) all gave very little public facing information about their CSR programmes, and thus made it very hard for us to assess them and meet our strict criteria around transparency.

Where we did manage to score the brands, points were gained on having a climate impact assessment, the use of renewable energy and publishing of a CO2 footprint. The brands of PepsiCo (Smiths, Lay”s, Doritos) also scored well on reducing packaging weight, including targets for casino further reductions in the future. In addition, Kettle (which has a biological crisps line) had evidence that it is possible to use completely organic ingredients.

Yet the lack of information about the origin of raw materials is an issue for all crisp manufacturing brands. Environmental certification is lacking and because the brands are not communicating where their raw materials and products come from, it is not clear whether they are fair trade or from other sources. Especially since the crisp is often made with problematic palm oil, this is of huge and significant importance.

So, if you do want a responsible snack, how about some fair-trade chocolate!? But do not forget about the crisp manufacturing brands, and give them a poke.

There have been a lot of improvement and progress made so far, but let us give the brands a sustainable boost!

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