Please forgive the subject line. Not my best wordplay ever. Let’s not dwell. Instead, let’s move on to the subject at hand.
Justin’s is a relatively small company out of Colorado that primarily sells nut butters – in jars and squeeze packs – but also sells premium quality peanut butter cups and candy bars. I first discovered Justin’s at Whole Foods a few years ago. I was roaming the aisles in a “mood,” and I knew that if I bought a jar of almond butter, I’d likely eat way too much of it. I was grateful when I saw the single serve pack with 200 calories in it: a splurge but not overdoing it. By the way, I found them at Whole Foods, but since I’ve seen them at Target, REI, Amazon, and other grocery stores too.
In the past year, I’ve kept a box of these packs at the office to (frequently) mix with oatmeal for lunch. As far as the product goes, yeah, it’s good. Obviously I wouldn’t keep it stocked if it weren’t. And it’s nice that they have a variety of flavors:
- almond butter: classic, chocolate, honey, maple
- peanut butter: classic, honey, chocolate
- chocolate hazelnut butter
But what I really love about Justin’s is the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Further, it’s super transparent about its processes, its ingredient and materials sourcing, and what it’s doing to improve. For example, the website has a page where you can click on the various ingredients and materials that go with each product, and a map shows the route (including mileage from the source) and carbon footprint involved with that ingredient. In many cases, ingredients come from within the U.S. (Oregon, New Mexico, etc.), but the company doesn’t shirk when ingredients/materials originate farther away (i.e. jars from China).
As far as what Justin’s is doing to improve its products and the industry as a whole, it is pushing upstream vendors to create more sustainable packaging for its squeeze packs. It drives me bonko as a consumer that so much product packaging (not just the squeeze pack) is non-renewable and will just end up in a landfill, yet I feel helpless. To know that a company – that understands the process of creating this packaging and has sway among vendors to push for change – actually has made inroads and continues in this mission? Justin’s definitely gets bonus points with me.
In the beginning of September, I contacted the folks at Justin’s to see if they might be willing to support my trek with a donation. Nut butters are very calorie dense, so I know they’ll be a staple in my hiking diet. At the time, they did not have the budget to fulfill my request. I followed up in mid-December, and they graciously offered to send me a case of twelve 16-ounce jars for my trek, for which I am so grateful.
When they arrived, I was surprised to see a variety pack including some of the flavors I listed above as well as a Vanilla Almond Butter. What?! Why have I never before heard of such an intoxicatingly wonderful flavor?! Having looked it up, apparently it is exclusively sold at Whole Foods, yet I’ve never noticed it there.
I’m so excited by this veritable assortment! To date, I’ve only tried the classic and honey almond butter flavors. Yeah, that’s right: I’ve been buying Justin’s for several years, and I’ve stuck to only two varieties. I get in ruts. I like my ruts. But I also love trying new foods. I absolutely cannot wait to start my trek so that I can dig in.