Climate Candy turns unharvested fruit and vegetables into chewy sweets

"We are like a magical machine where imperfect stuff goes in and perfectly imperfect stuff comes out. Ugly Produce? Candy. Kids crying? Candy. Long day? Candy. Losing any optimism that society can be repaired? Candy."

Roughly one-third of all food that farmers around the world produce is never consumed. Much is wasted at retail and consumer levels, but food loss starts on farms when crops go unharvested. Buyers might drop out or offer a price too low to make harvesting worthwhile, or fruits and vegetables are rejected for being the wrong size or shape. California-based Climate Candy is tackling that issue with with their FAVES candy chews.

The woman-led startup works with local farms to procure imperfect produce that would otherwise go unharvested. Ingredients include apples, pumpkins, carrots, strawberries and sweet potatoes, and each bag contains four servings of fruits and vegetables (aka stealth nutrition). The candies are low in sugar, gluten-free and vegan.

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Bain & Company recently pointed out that the cost of obesity, greenhouse gas emissions, rural welfare and other unintended consequences of the food production system totals USD 11.9 trillion. Their conclusion? "Purpose-led brands can reshape the consumer goods industry if they can scale."

But small shouldn't be equated with insignificant, and niche brands like Climate Candy can make a difference by building consumer awareness and reinforcing people's desire to make a difference. As co-founder Amy Keller told CNN, "You can get into the doorsteps, into the household, and get people talking about climate in just a very fun way."

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