Overall, PopCorners is proud of their sustainability and make an effort to be transparent about their practices with consumers. While many businesses tend to lose their ethical or sustainable practices after acquisition by a large corporation, PopCorners has continued to grow and thrive under the PepsiCo portfolio and have even benefited from their new owner’s policy. There is definitely more that this brand can do to work towards further goals, but this product should be acknowledged for its sustainability.
These tasty crisps are only made of three ingredients and still pack a flavorful punch! The ingredients are yellow corn, sunflower oil, and sea salt. PopCorners is proud to report that their corn is sourced from 59 family farms that all produce certified non-GMO corn. This is a very commendable sustainable practice by PopCorners, but the lack of information regarding the other two ingredients drops their score down in this category. PopCorners only specifies that their sea salt is harvested from the Pacific but do not explain how this is done or whether or not it is sustainable. This is the same for the sunflower oil. They also do not explain if their packaging is made from recycled materials since it is a plastic bag, and this could be redesigned to be a more sustainable option. However, their score in this category is still high because there are only three ingredients and the product is vegan which contributes to their sustainability.
Before the chips are even made, PopCorners explains that their crops are shipped from farms to the manufacturing facility in New York by train instead of truck in order to reduce their carbon footprint. The brand also has a manufacturing facility in Europe to reduce their overseas shipping, they say, which helps their manufacturing process contribute less carbon as well. While they keep the exact details of their manufacturing private, they use air popping to turn the corn into crunchy chips instead of frying. Since there is not much information about how exactly PopCorners are made, this lowers their score for this category, but it is notable that they consider the sustainability of transporting their product.
PopCorners started off as a small-scale brand under the umbrella of BFY Foods, but they were just recently bought by PepsiCo. Since they fall under the jurisdiction of PepsiCo, they are an equal opportunity employer and seem to have equitable hiring practices. Their website explains that workers at their manufacturing facilities have competitive wages, benefits, and retirement plans sponsored by PepsiCo. PepsiCo mentions their diversity and inclusion initiatives and explain that they strive to have gender parity in management roles and pay equity for women by 2025. This is all very positive and they back up their goals with statistics like men and women are paid within 1 percent of each other as well as in the US, people of color are paid within one percent as non-minority groups.