CaPao, a mission-based start-up snack brand created by Mondelēz International's SnackFutures innovation and venture hub, is one of the first products to be certified under the Upcycled Food Association's (UFA) Upcycled Certification Program. 

CaPao, which is made with upcycled cacaofruit, joined the UFA earlier this year as part of SnackFutures, and was among a select group of companies invited to participate in the beta program. This is the world's only third-party certification program for upcycled products and ingredients.

Upcycled, as defined by the UFA, is a product made with ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are sourced and produced using verifiable supply chains and have a positive impact on the planet. Participants had to meet that definition as well as a set of strict criteria to be certified.

"This program can help brands and companies mitigate food waste with a consumer-driven, actionable, scalable solution," said UFA co-founder and CEO Turner Wyatt. "Cutting food waste is the single-most effective thing people can do to address climate change, and this set of clear, uniform standards and protocols is an important step in making this the norm."

CaPao received its certification based on its use of upcycled cacaofruit, which is sourced from Cabosse Naturals. Cacaofruit contains cocoa beans, but once they’re extracted, the remaining 70 percent of the fruit is simply thrown away. CaPao recognized that was wasted deliciousness, wasted nutrition and wasted opportunity for growers.

"CaPao was built on the promise of being good for people and kind to the planet by upcycling and snackifying cacaofruit that would otherwise have gone to waste," said Shannon Neumann, associate director, SnackFutures Innovation. "This certification not only validates the relevance and integrity of our brand, but it also allows us to 'mainstream' upcycling by delivering those ingredients in a delicious snack and underscoring the impact people can have simply by making a mindful choice."