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Product, Service & Design Innovation
Startup Aiming to Redesign Food Industry, One Plant-Based ‘Suppa’ at a Time

Future Fit Foods’ line of nutritious, sustainably sourced, freeze-dried soups is the company’s first step in its mission to reinvent food from ingredients to packaging — and truly democratize sustainable nutrition.

Longmont, Colorado-based startup Future Fit Foods (FFF) has launched a line of plant-based soups called Suppas™ — designed to meet customers wherever they are and deliver nutrition, convenience, transparency, new packaging solutions and planet resilience into everyday mini meals.

FFF aims to redesign our current, linear food system and inspire change across the industry by offering circularity and transparency throughout its value chain — from how it sources its organic and non-GMO ingredients to how it makes, packages and delivers its products.

Future Fit Foods is an ambitious new venture launched by life and business partners Paloma Lopez and Sean Ansett, both sustainability pioneers in their respective industries. A former Global Marketing and Sustainability Director for Kellogg, Lopez has 15 years’ experience building healthier food systems, and driving sustainability initiatives for brands such as Kellogg, Special K, Kashi and MorningStar Farms; and was recognized as a Global Sustainability Leader by Forbes in 2018. Meanwhile, after “intrapreneurial” sustainability positions at Gap Inc and Burberry, Ansett was CSO and part of the co-founding team at Fairphone — the world’s first sustainable and modular smartphone.

For their new joint foray into food, the FFF team meticulously designed Suppas to offer sustainable nutrition and convenience, from sourcing to delivery. The soups help address the current fiber gap in US diets and deliver rich umami flavors while using less sodium than most packaged soups and noodles, and offer single-serve convenience without wasteful packaging. FFF says freeze-drying the soups, a technique first seen in the Incan culture, retains up to 97 percent of the nutrients — superior to canning, conventional dehydration, and other preservation methods — and eliminates the water weight from the product, which decreases both shipping costs and impacts.

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“We have built a value-creation model that aims to guide our design and decision making,” Lopez told Sustainable Brands™ via email. “As a starting point, we place a lot of emphasis on baking that social and circular value creation into our food briefs, designing with intent and ruling out ingredients that we believe we’ll have trouble sourcing responsibly or that would negatively impact wellbeing. We have had to make tough decisions in our recipe development to take out ingredients like cashews and pink Himalaya salt because of social impact concerns.”

After over a year of prototyping and COVID-related delays and supply chain issues, Lopez says the company’s first batch of pouches are made from industrial compostable materials with high barriers to moisture and oxygen — but FFF continues to iterate to find a completely circular solution: “We have already developed a novel concept that will not need single-use packaging at the consumer point of purchase for cafés and food-service environments that we hope to launch this fall. … Imagine if the packaging itself became part of the Suppas broth,” she said.

The company will soon offer the option of shipping via RePack — a reusable packaging solution that replaces the standard shipping box and can be used many times to reduce CO2 by up to 85 percent over the life of the pack.

Suppas' launch lineup | Image credit: Future Fit Foods

When asked about the potential impacts of sourcing ingredients from around the world, Lopez says: “We put our energy into designing our foods with intent; so, our foods create more value than they destroy. [While] over 85 percent of our ingredients are sourced from the US, some of the spices simply don't grow in the US; and we feel that we can have a positive economic impact for hardworking farmers in those geographies. This is also why we are starting with organic as our baseline and moving into regenerative as we move along — we want to use Suppas as a vessel to get more regenerative ingredients out of the fields and into mouths.”

While Suppas are only available online in the short term, FFF plans to expand into retail as it scales and take dramatic steps (including a goal to lower the price to $3 as it achieves economies of scale) to ensure its products are accessible to underserved communities who could benefit the most.

“Democratizing Suppas through affordability is very important to us on our next stage; because we know that if we don’t do that, we will not be able to bring the wellbeing benefits of Suppas to everyone,” Lopez told SB. “Eventually, we would like Suppas to reside in marginalized communities — where the technology is provided to the community to generate income through micro manufacturing set-ups, with recipes developed by the community based on their food culture.”

Future Fit Foods’ long-term vision is to partner with local under-resourced chefs to develop culturally relevant and affordable shelf-stable soups and other mini meals in micro-manufacturing sites that create help generate income and strengthen local communities and foodways.

“We’re already making those connections; and we have learned that many urban farmers and other food entrepreneurs have had difficulty adding value and getting to market,” Lopez says. “The real opportunity we see is to equip chefs with Future Fit Foods tools and resources that will make it that much easier for them to set up a community-centric manufacturing kitchen that can unleash new convenience foods that are culturally relevant and respect their foodways and socio-economic dynamics for their community. We will be partnering with local food justice NGOs, good-food accelerators and culinary academies to identify local chefs for partnering opportunities.”

In the meantime, FFF is partnering with an academic institution to engage the next generation of food professionals in making the Future of Food — paying the students that are helping to make the foods a living wage during their education.