Quaker Oats Original Instant Oatmeal

overall rating:



Eva Fenningdorf
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Overall, Quaker under the umbrella of PepsiCo has made even further steps towards sustainability. In regards to their ingredients and packaging, they’re doing well by avoiding plastic and avoiding preservatives and other chemicals, but they could take one step further to make all of their products organic. Since this instant oatmeal is a relatively simple product to manufacture and doesn’t include a long list of ingredients, its sustainability will naturally be higher. The effort that PepsiCo and Quaker are making together, however, takes the inherent sustainability of this product and increases it dramatically. The manufacturing process for this product is not very energy consumption heavy and Quaker has been making sustainable changes, however, having all of their facilities certified as environmentally safe would decrease their environmental impact and wouldn’t be very difficult. Lastly, falling under the jurisdiction of PepsiCo has helped Quaker become more sustainable and they have laid out goals for the near future that they are on track to achieve.

What it's made of:


Four ingredients make up these oats: whole grain oats, calcium carbonate, salt, and reduced iron. Quaker explains that they source their oats from 400 farmers through their Direct Growers program, and these oats come mainly from Canada. They do say that they source some of their oats from Iowa where their milling facility is located. Quaker does not explain where their other three ingredients are sourced from which takes away from their transparency. What stands out about this product is the lack of plastic packaging as each oatmeal pouch is made of paper and the large box is cardboard. It’s not too common to find a food product without plastic packaging so this definitely contributes to their sustainability. However, Quaker offers an organic oatmeal line which causes one to wonder why they don't use organic oats for all of their products as this would contribute to their sustainability.

How it's made:


Quaker mentions that all of their main manufacturing facilities are ISO 14001 certified, a framework for effective environmental management, but not all facilities. While having facilities with this certification is good, not all of their facilities meet the requirements and Quaker definitely has the resources to meet environmental standards in all their facilities. Quaker has programs to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact in addition to PepsiCo’s standards which is great, but they could be doing more. Quaker’s score in this category is not as high as it could be because while they are making some changes towards sustainability, they could be doing more at their manufacturing facilities.

Who makes it:


It seems like PepsiCo’s portfolio is all encompassing and never ending as this brand also falls under their umbrella. PepsiCo has many environmental efforts and as a large food company, they are making serious commitments and steps towards sustainability. They have received recognition for being an ethical corporation and they make note of how they are making progress regarding many SDGs. PepsiCo is making tangible progress towards further sustainability which contributes to their high score in this category. Since 2016, PepsiCo has doubled the percentage of crops that are sourced from farmers participating in their Sustainable Farming Program, moving from 34 percent to 79 percent. Another important sustainability initiative that makes PepsiCo an environmentally conscious corporation is that 95% of all waste from their direct operations is diverted from landfill and reused, recycled, or waste-to-energy programs. They also have community impacts such as providing more than 16 million people clean water since 2006, and the inclusivity of their workplaces and factories put a further emphasis on valuing people. However, since they are such a large corporation with billions of dollars in their portfolio, their score is not perfect as I would like to see them make further progress and become fully sustainable rather than mostly.


https://www.quakeroats.com/products/hot-cereals/instant-oatmeal/original https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2017/10/05/iowa-has-worlds-largest-cereal-plant-but-states-farmers-lack-market-oats/690998001/ https://www.pepsico.com/docs/album/sustainability-report/2017-csr/pepsico_2017_csr.pdf https://www.quakerchem.com/investors/2015AnnualReport/quaker2015AnnualReport/corporate-social-responsibility.html