Forbes: The Best Sweet Treats For The Health-Conscious Mom

So epic to see Matcha Cookie Crunch already being featured in Forbes! Writer Anna Haines shares some gift-worthy healthy treats, and just in time for Mother’s Day.

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Lit Up With Lo Podcast

Had a great time talking with Lauren from Lit Up With Lo! On this episode we discuss life behind the scenes of entrepreneurship. Check out the full episode below!

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Plant-Based Profits Show with Shawn Stratton & Ronnie Gandiza

Thank you to Shawn Stratton from Plant-Based Profits Show for having me on the podcast! We talk about the whole buckwheat biz journey from day 1 until now. Check out the full discussion below.

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Prevention: 31 Sustainable Brands to Support on Earth Day (and Every Day for Eco-Friendly Living)

We’re so grateful to Prevention writer Michelle Malia for naming Lil Bucks amongst some other epic, environmentally-conscious companies! Check out the article for some amazing brand recommendations- from apparel, to personal care, to food and home.

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Female Startup Club with Doone Roisin

Really enjoyed talking with Doone Roisin on the Female Startup Club podcast! We really discuss the ins and outs of scaling a brand within the CPG space. Check out the full episode below!

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Meet our new Recyclable Pouches ♻️

From the Founder, Emily

If you’ve been a Lil Bucks fan for some time, you know we’re always working to be a brand for the new generation of food–one that puts values like sustainability and nutrition at the forefront. These tenets are NEVER an afterthought, even if it’s more expensive and inconvenient, especially as a small business.

You’re probably wondering, “if you’re so into sustainability, why are your pouches plastic???” I’d be wondering that too as a consumer. I spent almost two years researching compostable pouches, and continue to do so. I detail that journey here, but long story short: we haven’t yet found pouch technology that is compostable but still protects our products shelf life for at least 8 months. We did however just come across pouches made from sugarcane and are excited to test them out! I believe in the next five years we’ll have pouches that could be composted. 

In any case, we also need to change our consumer behavior as a whole, to normalize composting and proper recycling so all this effort isn’t for nothing.

One step closer to sustainable packaging

In the meantime, we did find pouch technology that is store-recyclable. Many food wrappers and pouches are made from 2-3 types of plastics, with thin layers of different plastics melded together, making them more difficult to separate and properly recycle. About a year ago we came across a pouch made from mono-material plastic, meaning only one type of plastic, so it can be recycled! 

On our new Clusterbucks pouches and Lil Bucks single serve pouches, you’ll now notice a little “5 – PP” in the recyclable symbol:

The number in the recycle arrows triangle is called the “resin number” and this indicates to recycling facilities what type of plastic it is so it’s properly sorted. 5 / PP stands for polypropylene plastic. This is a pretty common plastic, often found in medicine bottles, straws, bottle caps, syrup bottles, and some yogurt containers. PP plastic can generally have “four lives” of being remade into new plastic products, before no longer being usable (source). 

Again, it’s still plastic, and the goal is to eliminate the use of plastic as much as possible. I list below some things we’re doing to continue plastic reduction, so in the meantime, I challenge everyone (and myself) as consumers to better educate ourselves on how to recycle and compost! Waste Management is a good resource to start, and then your local city will have rules on how they recycle things like food containers and pouches like ours! Some cities even have compost pickups where they bring you a new bucket on a cadence you decide – Chicago has Healthy Soil Compost – they’re amazing! 

The most important thing: THIS IS STORE DROP-OFF RECYCLING

I WISH you could just toss our bags in the recycling bin, and some cities have good sorting processes to find these recyclable materials, but most do not. Please resist the urge to throw these in your recycling bin. You need to recycle our PP bags, along with any other PP materials you get, at stores. 

If you do not have a drop off in your area, we can send you a free label you can print off and send them back to us, and we can recycle them for you. Just ask for one at hola@lovelilbucks.com  You can also ask your local grocery store manager if they would accept them — sometimes stores aren’t listed on the website but they do actually accept PP bags for recycling.

Continuing Plastic Reduction

We are working with RePurpose Global, our plastic-neutral partner, not only on offsetting our plastic carbon footprint by supporting a waste management project in Kenya, but also on our reduction strategies. Some things we are hoping to achieve this year:

  1. Having our new warehouse use biodegradable tape. Our old warehouse didn’t allow us to use custom tape but now we are able to do this!

    • Tip: Generally, if there is still tape on your boxes when you recycle, they will still be accepted at the recycling centers. Look at your local recycling info to confirm this, of course. But having biodegradable tape that can be recycle with the boxes as well, as it’s made from similar fibers, is even better! 
  2. We send out a lot of pallets of product at a time to grocery stores like Whole Foods, and previously the pallet wrap wasn’t counted in our plastic neutral donation, so we will be adding that moving forward. 
  3. Moving our Lil Bucks 6oz pouches to recyclable the next time we need to order… unless we find the sugarcane pouches are ready for us! 
  4. This doesn’t have to do with plastic, per-se, but we are doing some exciting work on the regenerative agriculture front that we’re excited to share. 
  5. What else? We want to hear from YOU any ideas you have for becoming a more sustainable company. It’s an imperfect road and we will always work to improve. You are on this journey with us! hola@lovelilbucks.com 


Forbes: How To Make The Ultimate Vegan Charcuterie Board

Forbes writer MeiMei Fox gives the how-to for creating a charcuterie board, “one that is entirely vegan, all-natural, and composed of earth-friendly brands.” We are SO grateful to have been featured alongside some other amazing brands! Thanks so much, MeiMei!

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Behind The Scenes: Why Matcha Cookie Crunch?

From the Founder, Emily


ICYMI: We were stoked to reveal our latest addition to the Lil Bucks fam last Friday: MATCHA COOKIE CRUNCH CLUSTERBUCKS! It took us just under a year to bring this to life. Last year (April 25, 2020 to be exact!) we surveyed y’all via Instagram to see what flavors really spoke to you. And via that post and email, the answer overwhelmingly had to do with the Matcha Lion’s Mane idea.

This was originally inspired by Four Sigmatic’s delish Matcha Lion’s mane lattes that I was using to power my intense entrepreneurial days. How could we turn this into snacking form, for the ultimate brekky bite or afternoon pick-me-up for y’all?! 

After noodling on it for a while, we ultimately moved away from the pistachio idea because we want to provide something gluten-free, grain-free AND nut-free for y’all. So many grain-free products just replace grains with nuts for the protein and the crunch factor, but with increasing allergies and some just trying to avoid nuts for calories or other diets, we didn’t want to go down the nut path. So, bye pistachios, and hellooooo COOKIES.

Enter: Tenzo Matcha

The food industry is super connected, and I was chatting with Sydney of MadeBy, an adaptogenic cookie company based out of Los Angeles, who swore by Tenzo Matcha in their limited-time matcha cookies. High quality matcha? Cookies? Hi. Sydney introduced me to Steve, the founder of Tenzo Matcha, and the rest is history.

Photo from Tenzo

I was enamored with their founding story: sick of the low-quality matcha being sold across the U.S.. Steve and his friends went to Japan on a quest to find better matcha (well, they were vacationing there, but why not use a vacation as an excuse to find the best matcha ever??). They basically stumbled upon this amazing farm and met a Japanese tea master with over 400 years of matcha-making experience in his family. Together they crafted a proprietary blend of ceremonial and organic matcha for daily drinking and set out to bring this to the U.S.A.

We were talking about using their matcha for our Matcha Lil Bucks, but I was getting so excited about their story and sourcing, that I was like, hey, let’s try this out in our new Clusterbucks flavor tests. 

It’s. SO. Good.

The Tenzo Matcha’s bright green hue alone is a testament to the quality. It has the perfect delicate flavor without being too earthy. Y’all wanted a matcha flavor, and we found the best matcha, so we set forth to create the Matcha Clusterbucks!

Adaptogen of Choice: Lion’s Mane

You know we love adaptogens when it comes to Clusterbucks. Reishi mushroom in the Chocolate Reishi, and Ashwagandha in the ayurvedic-inspired Turmeric Lemon Myrtle. Lion’s mane was the natural adaptogen pairing of choice since I had already enjoyed lion’s mane with matcha before (thanks for the inspo, Four Sigmatic!). I loved how sharp it made me feel in the morning. As someone with a little A.D.D., anything that helps me focus is a pantry staple for life. 

We are super careful with sourcing adaptogens as they are just now increasing in popularity, and, similar to what happened with matcha, companies come out with lower-quality adaptogens so they can sell them cheaper and undercut the pricing of the highest-quality sources. We are committed to sourcing the highest quality ingredients from buckwheat to spices to our adaptogens, and so we bypassed the cheap products and went to the best mushroom source: Nammex, the sourcing brand behind the high-quality consumer mushroom brand Real Mushrooms. It’s literally the most expensive lion’s mane mushroom we found, but with good reason. We are givin’ you that good good.

And Finally: THAT COOKIE CRUNCH FACTOR 🍪

We are learning to pair exciting new ingredients like buckwheat and adaptogens with flavors you know and love. The overwhelming popularity of the Cinnamon Lil Bucks is proof that you LOVE all-time fave brekky flavors with sprouted buckwheat. Familiar flavors bring more people into the buckwheat obsession camp, and we love our growing tribe!

You’ll even notice on the new packaging we changed the Clusterbucks tagline from “Adaptogenic Buckwheat Clusterbucks” to “Buckwheat Granola Clusters”. It’s the same product but the word “adaptogenic” literally scares some people away, hah. So anyways, what’s a deliciously familiar flavor that will pair wonderfully with the Matcha, and will get mouths across the nation watering?? 

🍪 🍪 🍪 🍪 COOKIES 🍪 🍪 🍪 🍪 

And by using a rich cacao butter, cacao nibs, vanilla extract and sea salt, we created that cookie-like taste without any more sugar, besides from the maple syrup as we always use. We even tried adding coconut sugar to some tests but found that the Clusterbucks didn’t need that extra sweetness. With just 3g added sugar per serving (from the maple syrup) we’re staying true to our belief that delicious food doesn’t need to be pumped with sugar to excite your taste buds.

As Thrillist recently said, Clusterbucks are “wildly addictive”, and we have no doubt the Matcha Cookie Crunch might just become your fave. 🙂 

Enjoy!
Emily 


USA TODAY 10BEST: 10 healthy and tasty snacks to pack for your next flight

Writer Amber Gibson of USA TODAY 10BEST gives you some flyer-friendly healthy snacks, and our Clusterbucks made the list! Thank you, Amber, for featuring us in your article!

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Medium: One week in a post #7: Buckwheat obsession, Carbon Negative Plastic, Bill Gates’ new book, and TikTok recipes

A big thank you to Chiara Cecchini for trying out Lil Bucks and mentioning us as one of her climate friendly products of the week! Aside from being a writer at Medium, Chiara is the CEO & Co-Founder at Future Food Americas, as well as the Head of Innovation at Food for Climate League.

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