The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

Sustainability Series: YumEarth

Sustainability Series: YumEarth


May 14, 2015

YumEarth makes delicious snacks and sweets with organic and natural ingredients, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and none of the major allergens, such as gluten, nuts and dairy. Founded by two dads with young children, YumEarth is committed to creating irresistible products made with real ingredients that consumers can feel good about giving their children. We talked to Rob Wunder, co-founder of YumEarth, about their amazing decade-long journey that is changing the way people enjoy candy.

How does your business define sustainability?

Sustainability at YumEarth means reduced transit distances for ingredients, fair wages for employees, and no GMOs in the product.

How are you incorporating sustainable practices into your business?

We have partnered with local family farms wherever possible and ship full loads of ingredients, finished goods, and packaging almost exclusively. Further, we believe an intact family that eats well and spends time together is the secret ingredient to sustainability, so we pay fair wages at all facilities. As the largest organic candy company in America, we lead the crusade everyday against GMOs in candy.   

What are your short-term and long-term goals?

Our long-term goal is to educate consumers that sustainable and clean treats can taste great and are worth the premium cost as compared to belly-filling, chemical-laden conventional candy. Our short-term goal is to introduce our new gluten-free licorice in 30+ countries without overselling and running out of stock!

Where do you think you’ll have the biggest impact?

Our biggest impact is a dream walking in daylight – when we observe 14 year-old kids that grew up on YumEarth Organic candy since they were five and six years-old buying YumEarth gummy bears and fruit snacks at the vending machine at the trampoline sport place or insisting their parents grab the YumEarth Fruit Snacks at Costco. These 14 year-olds have grown up knowing organic candy is normal and tastes great.

How do you measure your progress?

Progress is measured easily by sales figures and added points of distribution across the globe, but it’s also measured by the age of our consumers and influencers. When teenagers and college students demand YumEarth at their vending machines and college bookstores, we know we have changed behavior, proving our almost 10 years of effort has helped a generation to look past the chemical candy and demand better ingredients and sustainable practices.

How do retailers factor into your efforts?

Our retail customers, from Target to Costco to Whole Foods to Walgreens, want to delight their customers with excellent products at great prices, while we want to spread the joy of clean and sustainable sweetness. We absolutely share their goals and craft every item we make with all these goals in mind. Sustainable at retail means sustaining your shelf facings!

Why are sustainable business practices important to the food industry?

Sustainable food practices are similar to making time to eat dinner with your family; the more love and care you invest in your family or the earth, the more you get in return. 

Why are sustainable business practices important to the consumer?

Consumers share the planet with and outnumber the food suppliers, so sustainable business practices should be a very high priority for consumers.