Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp is proving he’s more than just a pretty bowl cut with a new business venture: he’s launched a vegan and sustainable alternative to everyone’s favourite chocolate-hazelnut spread, Nutella (unless you prefer the Fix & Fogg one, in which case you have a more sophisticated palate than me).
Schnapp’s company is called TBH, which for those of us who still text in full, grammatically correct sentences stands for “to be honest”, because, he said: “TBH is inspired by honesty. It’s about being transparent with ourselves about what we’re actually consuming, and then making a change for the better.”
The 17-year-old, who has won favour with both audiences and critics for his portrayal of Will Byers on the Netflix smash hit series, said while he had always loved hazelnut spread on toast, when he was “a kid” – last year? – he “didn’t realise that my snack habit wasn’t very good for me or the environment”.
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Once he discovered that market-leading Nutella is stacked not only with sugar but palm oil, the production of which is a major contributor to deforestation and climate change, he decided “to create a new take on hazelnut cocoa spread with honesty and sustainability at its heart”.
TBH is palm oil-free, has 50% less sugar than Nutella and three times the protein, and comes in eco-friendly packaging, including a jar made of recycled materials. A tree-planting scheme plants 20 more trees than each box takes to create.
Celebrity food brands are nothing new and there are some already astronomically wealthy stars out there making many more millions out of food or drink labels – Kendall Jenner has 818 Tequila, Mark Wahlberg has his burger chain, and Jay-Z has not one but two: his own Ace of Spades champagne and, with wife Beyonce, 22 Days Nutrition meal plan.
But some, like Schnapp, are trying to do a little more than put their money where their mouth is. In the grand tradition of Paul Newman, whose eponymous salad dressing company started giving all its after-tax profits to charity in 1982, they’re not just putting their mouths where the money is, but making the world a better place.
Once Upon A Farm – Jennifer Garner
All-American Garner is wholesomeness personified (her Instagram account is truly a salve in these dark days), and the actress’ food company is no exception.
Once Upon a Farm makes organic baby food from locally sourced ingredients, sustainably grown – some of them on Garner’s family farm in Oklahoma.
The comany is B-corp and Green-e certified, and has a mission to provide meals to one million hungry children by 2024 through a partnership with charity Save the Children.
This Bar Saves Lives – Kristen Bell
Another actress working to end child hunger through her food company is The Good Place’s Kristen Bell, who founded her muesli bar brand in 2013 along with some show business friends, including her Veronica Mars co-star Ryan Devlin.
For every bar sold the company donates a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, or RUTF, a nutrient-rich paste designed to treat malnurishment, to children in conflict zones. Since launch it has donated over 30 million RUTFs.
The bars themselves are doing some good work, too; each one contains a full serving of fruits and vegetables.
Della Vite Prosecco – Cara Delevingne
The model and actress founded sustainable prosecco label Della Vite along with her two sisters, Poppy and Chloe.
Production is solar-powered, and water is heated by the exchange system in refrigeration units, meaning no more energy has to be created. Unusually for prosecco, the wine is filtered through a ceramic system to avoid drainage systems containing animal products, allowing Della Vita to be certified vegan.
Bongiovi Pasta Sauces – Jon Bon Jovi
Legend, and the brand’s website, has it that when the Living on a Prayer rocker’s dad, John Bongiovi Sr, started bottling sauces made according to recipes handed down through his family, he did so only with the caveat that a portion of the proceeds go to charity.
So Bongiovi Pasta Sauces supports the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which works to create safe and affordable housing in underprivileged communities.
Jon himself is an investor in the company, which carries the tagline: “This ain’t your Mom’s sauce… It’s my Dad’s!”
Casamigos Tequila – George Clooney
One of the OG celebrity tequila companies – they’re a dime a dozen these days – Casamigos, which Clooney founded with Mr Cindy Crawford Rande Gerber, isn’t in and of itself charitable.
But when the stars sold the brand to multinational beverage company Diageo in 2017 and Clooney came into a US$200m payday, he donated at least 10% of it to charity.
It was announced at the time that Clooney and his wife Amal made a $1m grant to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which is known for taking out legal cases against white supremecist and other hate groups. They also funnelled $20m of the proceeds into their charitable organisation, the Clooney Foundation for Justice.