Black Forest Brand Reveals Purpose-Led Commitments


Chicago — Recognizing International Day of Forests on March 21, Ferrara Candy Co., Inc. is unveiling a sustainable purpose commitment around its Black Forest gummi and fruit brand. The company notes the brand is the first in the sector to make this purpose-led pledge, taking action including committing to real ingredients that are better for people, moving to fully sustainable packaging, continuing to plant and protect forests, and reducing its impact in its production. 

“At Black Forest, we believe that real good requires real action. It’s why we were founded in the first place — to capture the transformative power of nature and make snacks that are delicious, with carefully selected real ingredients,” says Kate Adams, senior brand marketing director of Black Forest.

Black Forest’s 10-year commitment includes a move to fully sustainable packaging by 2022 that is recyclable, reusable or compostable, while maintaining freshness and quality. The brand is also continuing its partnership with the National Forest Foundation, now in its third year, which provides ways for people to take action to help tree-planting efforts in the wake of wildfires. Through this partnership, Black Forest started its journey to become a purpose-led brand and committed to plant 1.5 million trees across U.S. forests impacted by wildfire by the end of 2022. Now, the brand has set a long-range goal to plant 10 million trees by 2030.

Joey Rath, brand manager at Ferrara explains: “We looked to our consumers to help inform such goals, starting with receiving feedback from consumers in focus groups to co-create and share what they thought were the most important sustainable actions. We heard from consumers that brands and businesses should be accountable for their sustainable impact across every touchpoint in the lifecycle of their product. We took that feedback seriously when pulling together our sustainable business commitments across our product, packaging, operations, and non-profit partnerships.”

The company launched Black Forest brand’s SDA certified organic gummi bears and fruit snacks in 2015, using colors and flavors from real sources. Looking ahead, the Ferrara says that by 2022 all products in the portfolio will use colors and flavors from real sources including turmeric, black carrot juice, black currant juice, carrot juice, purple sweet potato juice, cherry juice and radish juice.

Rath adds that Ferrara is heavily supporting Black Forest’s 10-year commitment along with a companywide commitment to making all packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and a partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s and UN Environment Program’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. “Through this partnership, we are joining 500 businesses and governments to create a vision of a circular economy for plastic in which it never becomes waste or pollution.” 

The company is currently assessing and vetting sustainable packaging alternates to non-recyclable materials like film, noting it’s too early to assess when or whether these transitions will lead to product price increases. However, Rath says: “We will seriously take into account consumers’ ability and willingness to pay a premium for sustainable product and packaging, should costs increase.”