The Covid-19 pandemic
has significantly impacted small businesses and brands. Social distancing, varying stay-at-home orders and less travel (i.e. fewer tourists) mean independently-owned, small businesses see less foot traffic.
Combined with competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon who are thriving during the pandemic—small business brands face challenging times. Thirty million small-business jobs are vulnerable, and companies with fewer than 100 employers were hit hardest by COVID, according to McKinsey reports
Before the pandemic, supporting small businesses was increasingly popular, with 91 percent of consumers visiting a small local business once per week, and 46 percent two to four times per week, according to a Cox survey
. To continue to business owners digitally, during this challenging time, shop small business brands at Vitacost! Here are 15 great brands to try.
Partake cookies are not only delicious, they’re also gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and free of the top 14 most common allergens (like nuts, eggs, dairy and soy). Partake was founded by Denise Woodard, a mom frustrated by the lack of allergen-free snacks for her daughter. People can’t believe the cookies meet so many dietary restrictions—Jay-Z even invested
in this small cookie company.
HealthForce offers an extensive line of vitamins, supplements, extracts and cleanse products. Purity is at the forefront of its mission, focusing on true-to-source, sustainably grown ingredients. All of their superfoods are certified organic, gluten-free, vegan, GMO-free and manufactured in the U.S. When you buy from HealthForce, you know that you’re supporting a company that cares about sustainability. Their packaging is entirely recyclable, as well!
The Sproud product is as unique as the container that holds it. This plant-based milk is made out of peas. However, unlike other dairy-free alternatives, Sproud still has a naturally creamy texture and neutral taste.
The company aims for having the lowest carbon footprint possible, using the sustainable yellow-pea for their milk, which requires less water than almonds or oats. What’s more, the milk is shelf-stable with a 365-day shelf life, so you can order from Vitacost and keep for months to come!
Fungi Perfecti is a family-owned company that specializes in high-quality, medicinal, mushroom-based products. The company offers many different mushrooms supplements in capsules, powders, extracts and teas. Each type of mushroom product targets a specific health benefit.
This small business and their founder, Paul Stamets, a prolific mushroom researcher, also aim to educate their audience about the superpowers of mushrooms and encourage independent growers.
If you’re looking for DEET-free, natural pest repellents, look no further than Aunt Fanny’s. Whether you want to fight ants, mosquitos, or fruit flies, these kid-friendly products will do the trick. Using essential oils like citronella, cedarwood, peppermint, lemongrass and geranium oil, their clean formulas will keep the pests at bay.
As many things born out of necessity, this small brand was developed when a family with auto-immune issues wanted to use cleaner products with fewer chemicals in their home. Better yet, their products are also pet-friendly and made cruelty-free.
Composting is another sustainable practice that continues to grow in popularity. Five states and six municipalities have organic waste recycling laws or mandates, according to recent reports
. For those who compost, BioBag has multiple options for biodegradable bags.
When collecting organic waste, it only makes sense to use a bag or product that can also be compostable and while there are many biodegradable options out there, Biobag is a small, privately-owned company that uses specific GMO-free crops to create the resin on their bags. Besides bags for compost or other waste, they also have reusable bags that can take the place of single-use plastic alternatives.
This company got its start on Shark Tank and specializes in natural and organic cleaning products with little to no plastic in their packaging. Their brand offers everything from reusable towels to laundry products and cleaning powder.
All Eco Nuts cleaning products are non-toxic, certified organic, ethically-sourced, safe ingredients and sustainable packaging. They also use unique ingredients like Himalayan berries for a cleaning formula or bamboo in their paper towels.
Nellie’s is another all-natural cleaning brand. All of the products are eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, non-toxic, but still incredibly effective. This small brand is family-owned, and all of their products were inspired by the matriarch, Nelly, who was a pioneer in creating green-cleaning products. Nellie’s has an extensive offering; you can get most of the items you need to clean your entire house.
This nutritional brand specializes in supplements and sweeteners aimed at beauty-specific results. You can try their cacao or turmeric powder, or their wide variety of collagens. Each product focuses on specific beauty or wellness areas like restoring skin moisture, supporting hair health, or improving cognitive function.
Z!nt also boasts that their ingredients are non-GMO, paleo-friendly, hormone-free, gluten-free and certified kosher.
This is one of our most delicious brands on the list; Justin’s offers sweet treats in the form of chocolate and nut-butters. The eponymous company was founded by an active vegetarian who wanted to experiment with more than just regular peanut butter.
Whether it’s their delectable peanut butter cups or a jar of nut-butter, all of their products are USDA organic, gluten-free, kosher with sustainably- and locally-sourced ingredients. Also, this small company is still owned and operated by Justin himself.
Although Dr. Bronner’s has been around for a while, they’re still a family-owned business that focuses on socially and environmentally responsible products. Their all-in-one, pure Castille soap is their flagship product with claims that it can be used for everything from shampoo and body wash to dishes and laundry.
Dr. Bronner’s famous labels include extensive text about the brands values, ethical approach to soap-making, and overall sustainability mission. Throughout the years, Dr. Bronners has expanded their product lines to include bar soaps and many other scent options—shop all of them on Vitacost!
Disposable diapers are a big offender when it comes to plastic pollution. Eco-conscious brand, Charlie Banana, wants to fight that. Founded by a mom sick of single-use plastic and its devastating impact on the environment, this diaper company offers reusable, cloth options. Unlike some other cloth diapers, these are leak-free, economical and stylish. The fabric used is also soft and comfortable on a baby’s skin.
If you want a healthy, munchy snack that isn’t traditional potato chips, try this banana-inspired product. Barnana turns upcycled bananas deemed to be “imperfect” for consumers into crunchy snacks. With this business model, Barnana wants to tackle food waste in Latin America.
While the banana or plantains are combined with other flavors like salt and vinegar, peanut butter, or made into different brittles, all the ingredients are economically-sourced. Barnara products are also vegan, non-GMO, USDA organic, kosher and paleo-friendly.
As their name would suggest, these goodies are made with all plant-based and sustainable ingredients, with benefits such as:
- No refined sugar
This small Bronx-based company is also on a mission to impact their community by partnering with local schools and organizations to offer high-quality, low-cost, nutritional food. So you can feel good knowing your purchase is supporting worthwhile causes.
Quinn is certainly growing, but it’s still a relatively small brand compared to others in the snack industry. This company was born out of its founder’s love for popcorn but distaste for all the chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients in each bag.
Their promise is complete transparency with a “farm-to-bag” philosophy for all products. All ingredients are natural, simple, and mostly non-GMO and organic. They also offer very tasty gluten-free pretzel options.
Shop small business brands
Even with some stores still closed, you can support small businesses by shopping online. Check out all these small business brands on Vitacost to get what you need to stay healthy and happy now and in the future.