Airheads do not contain any allergens, but trace amounts may be found in factories they are produced in. Maltodextrin is derived from corn, rice, potato or wheat to control separation thickness of a product. This ingredient can affect gut bacteria and cause blood sugar spikes. Dextrose is a sugar derived from corn and also carries health concerns. Modified food starch is corn starch that is treated before use. The extraction of palm oil is a large cause of deforestation and habitat destruction across the world. There are also concerns about the exploitation of workers and child labor. Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 6, Yellow 5 are all used for artificial coloring. These colors/numbers are not real natural ingredients. I will give Airheads one planet because even though most of the ingredients are almost unrecognizable, they’re still really tasty.
Airheads are manufactured in factories, with their main ingredient being taffy made from sugar. It also requires palm oil, and ingredient that disrupts our environment through deforestation. It is made with the use of exploitative labor and habitat destruction. Again, this company emphasizes how much value they place in their company and their employees, but they are extremely indistinct on production processes and labor practices.
The parent company of Airheads is Perfetti Van Melle, an Italian-Dutch company. The majority of their operating companies are locating in Europe, and they also have a lot in Asia, specifically in India and China. There have been various reports of the use of child labor and union busting in these Asian countries. Each year, the company uses a work day to have (some) employees take on community projects in support of non-profit organizations. They have a very vague sustainability section on their site, and claim to be “responsible advocates for the environment,” yet they fail to acknowledge the use of palm oil or their extraction practices.