Today, we’re spotlighting an up-and-coming sustainable brand called Farmer Foodie and their Cashew Parm product line. We sat down with the founder, Ali Elliott, to answer all the questions you want to know about Cashew Parm. People are motivated now more than ever to find sustainable products. Eco-friendly companies such as Farmer Foodie, prioritize ethical practices, environmental responsibility, and social impact. By supporting sustainable brands, you contribute to a greener future and align yourself with moral values. With an abundance of sustainable product options available, it can take time to identify the right sustainable brand for your needs. If you want to support sustainable brands, you’ve come to the right place!
Sustainable brands are important because they value protecting the planet, treating workers fairly, and improving communities. Sustainable companies are dedicated to reducing their environmental footprint, promoting Fairtrade labor practices, and positively impact the planet. More people are actively seeking eco-friendly products with increasing awareness about our environmental challenges. In fact, in a study according to McKinsey and Co, 66% of all survey respondents and 75% of millennial respondents say they consider the sustainability of a product before making a purchase. With the increase in demand for sustainable products, many companies are eager to make greener claims, but few are doing so. Ali Elliott of Farmer Foodie is on a mission to provide consumers with their delicious Cashew Parm product line, pioneering the vegan cheese space, with sustainability and flavor at the forefront of all business decisions.
Ali Elliott, CEO Farmer Foodie
How did Farmer Foodie get started?
While working as the Education Director for McEnroe Organic Farm, Ali Elliott had access to an abundance of fresh produce. That’s where her first venture, The Farmer Foodie plant-forward food blog, was born. As a vegetarian for over ten years, the number one food Ali found hardest to give up, like many, was dairy-based cheese. She created climate-friendly recipes and leaned towards plant-forward recipes, much like Made to Sustain! She worked to create her own tasty dairy-free cheese recipes. They were so satisfying that she was finally able to stick to a vegan diet without feeling deprived of cheese.
After a few years on the farm, Elliott returned to school and attended Brandeis University, where she earned herself a few prestigious innovation awards and masters degrees.
After graduate school, Ali decided it was time to share her recipes as CPG products with the masses. That’s when Farmer Foodie transitioned from blog to CPG company. She decided to launch a delicious shelf-stable and sustainable Cashew Parm product line, mimicking the tasty flavor of cheese with clean, organic, and recognizable ingredients. It was time to introduce a flavor forward, sustainable, dairy-free product line for all of the cheese-lovers in the market.
What is Cashew Parm?
Cashew Parm is a plant-powered alternative to Grated Parmesan Cheese. Grated Cheese is a widely used ingredient as a topper for salads and pasta, mixed into sauces and dressings like Alfredo and Caesar, and paired with snacks like popcorn.
Ali’s Cashew Parm is made with Fair-Trade organic cashews, fortified nutritional yeast, and other spices to answer the needs of those longing for the beloved grated goodness. Farmer Foodie currently has two flavors in its portfolio. The flagship product, Golden Chedda, launched in May of 2022, and Italian Herb launched this past year, just in time for the 2023 NYC Fancy Food Show.
“We have the lowest calories, lowest fat, and lowest carbs, while still offering 1g of protein/tbsp versus any other nut-based Parm product on the market”Ali Elliott, CEO, Farmer Foodie
What’s Different about Farmer Foodie vs Other Vegan Parms on the Market?
While there are a few other vegan Parmesan products on the market, there are a few reasons why Farmer Foodie Cashew Parm is different. From its nutritional profile to its shelf stability, there are several reasons to consider Farmer Foodie over other vegan parms on the market.
Looking at Farmer Foodie’s Cashew Parm nutritional panels, Ali claims her product line has the “lowest calories, lowest fat, and lowest carbs, while still offering 1g of protein/tbsp versus any other nut-based Parm product on the market.” They’re also dairy, and gluten-free, but unfortunately, no chance of being nut-free.
This Cashew Parm is also shelf stable, so there’s no need for refrigeration with manufacturing, distribution, or storage. Another element of convenience, Cashew Parm is already grated, so you can grab it out of your spice cabinet, shake it on top of your meal, and enjoy!
How is Cashew Parm sustainable?
When it came time to scale up Farmer Foodie Cashew Parm, Ali wanted to ensure that she kept sustainability at the forefront of all decisions. She studied sustainability in undergrad and graduate school and has an advantage in understanding where to start.
From school, she knew that refrigerants have a negative environmental impact. The distribution of refrigerated products is significantly more energy-intensive than ambient products. That’s where she knew she had a competitive advantage compared to other vegan cheese on the market with a shelf-stable product.
Then, when it came time to test her scale-up, she took the time to scope out the best suppliers. Unlike many other start-ups, Farmer Foodie took steps to ensure that their suppliers align with their ESG criteria over the cost of the material.
For example, their cashews are carbon-negative when harvested and have a validated supply chain. While Ali could use many other vendors, selecting the ones with the best environmental practices makes a difference in the overall products’ sustainability impact. The advantage of being a new business is the chance to scrutinize your suppliers, but very few companies take this approach!
Let’s Talk about Packaging
As of today, Cashew Parm comes in a recyclable plastic flip-top bottle. Ali is currently exploring other options, such as bulk buying options and a plastic neutral packaging. Hopefully, in the future, there can be a refilling program to reduce the dependence on plastics.
What about Certifications?
Cashew Parm is currently a member of “1% For the Planet”, which is a non-profit organization that ensures companies commit to donating at leasts 1% of annual sales directly to environmental organizations. You can learn more about 1% for the planet here.
Farmer Foodie is a 100% Woman Owned business, and they are filing for the Official Women-Owned Business Certification.
What’s on the horizon for Cashew Parm and Sustainability?
Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. For the Cashew Parm line of products, Farmer Foodie is looking into regenerative organic ingredients.
Farmer Foodie is also exploring partnering with Clean Hub for Plastic neutrality. Clean Hub takes plastic and separates it from recyclable and non-recyclable repurposes it to either new plastics or energy. You can learn more about Clean Hub for Plastic Neutrality here .
What does the Future of Farmer Foodie Look Like?
Ali hopes that her Cashew Parm product line becomes a staple product offering across the U.S. in five to ten years. She also hopes to have a variety of fun flavors of Cashew Parm and maybe a few other products in the mix!
Where can I purchase the Farmer Foodie’s Cashew Parm?
You can currently purchase Cashew Parm directly on the Farmer Foodie website and have free shipping nationwide! You can get a discount with the promo code MADETOSUSTAIN10. Find them on our sustainable brands to support page!
Farmer Foodie is also available on Amazon for purchase. She is also in conversations with a few major Massachusetts grocers, so she hopes to be on shelves soon! We’ll keep you updated once they are in more locations.
Support Sustainable Brands: Make Sure You Try Cashew Parm from the Farmer Foodie!
Every choice we make matters, so choosing brands that include sustainability in their products is paramount. The state of the planet calls for you to support sustainable brands. You can find other sustainable brands on the Support Sustainable Brands page.
I hope you enjoyed this write-up of Farmer Foodie and Cashew Parm! Make sure you try it today!
Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Please let us know if there are any brands you’d like us to explore below. And if you are a sustainable brand and would like to be featured, please feel free to reach out in the Contact section!
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