Nature’s Path nut butter cereal – ethical review

I bought two kinds of cereal from Nature’s Path at the Grocery Outlet recently – Almond Nut Butter Crunch and Coconut Cashew – they were $1.99 for each 10-ounce box, compared to normal prices of around $5. As usual, I’ll do a quick review on taste/quality and then a separate ethical review that considers the social and environmental impact.

Nature’s Path nut butter cereals – ingredients

Almond Nut Butter Crunch: Yellow corn flour*, corn meal*, whole grain rolled oats*, cane sugar*, sunflower oil*, almond butter*, peanut butter*, sea salt, honey*, rice starch*, tocopherols (Vitamin E). *Organic.

Coconut Cashew: Yellow corn flour*, corn meal*, whole grain rolled oats*, cane sugar*, sunflower oil*, cashew butter*, peanut butter*, dried coconut*, sea salt, honey*, rice starch*, coconut flavor*, tocopherols (Vitamin E). *Organic.

Nature’s Path cereal – review

These Nature’s Path nut butter cereals are interesting in that they are basically two kinds of cereal mixed together: organic corn flakes and granola-like nut butter clusters. I haven’t had corn flakes for a long time and I was more attracted by the nut butter aspect of the cereal. I don’t even buy much cereal – and it’s usually granola or homemade muesli if anything. However, with 95% of my meals being at home this year I’ve been buying more cereal and also trying a wider variety of plant-based milks too. I did review Califia’s Protein Oat milk, but I usually reserve that (or homemade oat milk) for my coffee and instead I’ve been using hemp milk with this cereal. I’ll post a review of the hemp milk soon, hopefully.

Bottom line with these cereals: I like both of them and would buy again. The texture provided by the mixture of corn flakes and nut clusters works for me – that’s important as I really dislike cereals that have no texture or that go soggy quickly. (Yes, that’s a first-world problem, I know.) Another thing that’s important for me is that breakfast provides some long-lived energy, not a sugar high that’s followed quickly by a mood crash. So, these cereals tick the boxes in terms of texture and nutrition, and in terms of flavor I actually liked them about equally. Your choice may be dictated more by whether or not you like coconut, more than anything else.

Unlike the previous post where I bought Back to Nature cookies without knowing a huge amount about the company, I’ve purchased and reviewed a Nature’s Path product before. Similar to the situation with Clif Bar (reviewed in a recent post) I had originally looked into Nature’s Path about 5 years ago – so it’s time for an update!

Ethical rating for Nature’s Path nut butter cereal

Overall, I think that Nature’s Path nut butter cereals deserve 5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact, based on these factors:

  • Nature’s Path Foods is a family-owned Canadian triple bottom line company (with a female CEO) that’s focused on sustainability. The company helped establish the Sustainable Food Trade Association and is a pioneer of the organic farming movement (e.g., Nature’s Path made the first USDA certified organic cereal).
  • Every ingredient in the nut butter cereals is organic (except for salt, where that doesn’t apply).
  • Nature’s Path purchased land for organic farming in Canada and the US, which it crop shares with family farmers. Crop sharing supports smaller, independent organic farmers in a similar way to community supported agriculture (CSA).
  • Going beyond organic, a Nature’s Path farm was one of the first to receive a Regenerative Organic Certification. This includes the use of specific farming practices that help put more carbon into the soil. Anyone who has read about this (The Soil Will Save Us is a good book) knows how important soil carbon is.
  • The cereals are almost vegan – they are labeled as vegetarian as they contain honey.
  • Nature’s Path reduced their CO2 emissions per pound of product quite a lot since 2008 and aimed to be carbon neutral by 2020.
  • The company donates at least $2 million each year to food banks and supports environmental causes such as endangered species protection and community gardens. Its EnviroKids products support 1% For the Planet.
  • Nature’s Path has made a lot of effort to reduce waste and all three of its manufacturing facilities are now zero waste certified, diverting 92% of waste from landfill.
  • In an effort to reduce packaging waste, the company introduced cereals packaged in “Eco Pac” bags made from #2 plastic (HDPE), the same type used for most plastic bottles, which makes the bags much more widely recyclable than the normal #4 bags (LDPE).
  • The nut butter cereal boxes are made from recycled paperboard and printed with vegetable-based inks. It must be said that each box only contains ten ounces of cereal – that’s 5 servings or 1150 calories, total – it would be nice if they packed a bit more into each box to make the packaging go further.
Nature’s Path nut butter cereal review. An image of Nature's Path nut butter cereal varieties, Coconut and Cashew crunch, and Almond crunch is shown with an ethical rating of 5 Green Stars beneath it.

Summary scores (out of 5) for Nature’s Path nut butter cereals:

  • 4 gold stars for quality and value.
  • 5 green stars for social and environmental impact

This is the second product to receive a top score of 5 green Stars! Although it’s a perfect score, almost no company (or person) is perfect but many deserve recognition for being a pioneer in one area.  The previous 5-star company was Alter-Eco, which I thought especially deserved a 5-star rating for introducing a compostable wrapper and for its work on regenerative forestry. In the case of Nature’s Path, its pioneering work on organic farming and regenerative organic agriculture to support soil health (an absolutely critical issue) helps seal its 5-star rating!

If you have a different opinion, please share your rating! Until next time, stay safe : )  

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