The biggest stumbling stone with this company is lack of transparency and documentation. They could have net zero emissions, or source all their ingredients super sustainably, and it’s impossible to know because they don’t make that info available to consumers online. Transparency is low and sustainability is not well documented at Better Than Bouillon, but the product does have some sustainable elements, and there is certainly hope for the future.
I can attest from personal experience that this product was super helpful in transferring over from meat proteins to plant based proteins. If it can help other people switch to more plant based proteins, then it’s likely to have a positive sustainable impact on the environment.
The product is predominantly vegetable based, including carrots, celery, onion, hydrolyzed corn protein, and potatoes. The ingredient that raises the biggest warning bell here is corn. Corn isn’t always super sustainable, depending on where it’s sourced. It’s a water heavy crop and it’s grown as a monoculture in the US. But with little to no information on where Better Than Bouillon’s ingredients are sourced from, it’s impossible to measure how sustainably the crops were grown. Other ingredients include sugar, canola oil, yeast, and some spices. A full list of ingredients is available on their website at Vegetarian No Chicken Base - Better Than Bouillon.
Providing information about sourcing could greatly improve their score in this area!
Again, lack of information prevents this section from receiving a higher score. We don’t know where the ingredients are sourced, or if the company has goals regarding packaging reduction or reasons they use the little glass jars that they do. We do know that one 8 ounce jar of better than bouillon paste is equivalent to thirty eight 8 ounce cans of broth. This theoretically saves a ton of packaging. One small glass jar of bouillon compared to thirty eight metal soup cans or 9.5 soup cartons (from Better Than Bouillon Review - Stock Alternative | Kitchn (thekitchn.com)). The product also has a 2 year shelf life. Because it doesn’t go bad quickly, there is likely little that is thrown out of grocery stores which is a plus. More information — in a two-fold structure of 1. things Better Than Bouillon is succeeding at sustainability wise with production, 2. areas of sustainability improvement and goals for the future — would see increases in this score.
Better Than Bouillon is a Summit Hill Foods brand. They have nothing about sustainability (environmental, social, labor and ethics) on their website. Things I’d like to see to increase transparency include where they source their ingredients from and any sourcing standards they have regarding environmental and ethical factors, labor regulations they follow and how they make sure the workplace is socially sustainable for their workforce, packaging materials and goals, and sustainability targets they have as a company. A point in their favor is that their products are generally very affordable. They’re between $5-8 for a jar, and such a small amount is needed per dish for maximum flavor that each jar lasts a long time. I have a lot of hope for this company’s future in sustainability, but right now they aren’t demonstrating enough evidence to give them a better score.