Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, Plain

overall rating:



Arushi Lakhan-Pal
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Tofutti does not seem to be dedicated to sustainability. The only time sustainability is mentioned on their website is in reference to their palm oil, which is likely not sourced sustainably at all. Other than that, their ingredients are not particularly unsustainable, but they are completely lacking in transparency surrounding their manufacturing and working conditions. Tofutti needs to do better. 

What it's made of:


This cream cheese is primarily made of water, oil, maltodextrin, and tofu. The oil used is a blend consisting of soybean, palm, and olive oils. Tofutti claims that their palm oil is sustainably sourced, as they have been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. However, this certification has been found to have many shortcomings; thus, I would not trust that Tofutti’s use of palm oil is sustainable. Olive and soybean oils are not very environmentally damaging though, which makes their usage a good choice even if it is alongside palm oil. Tofu is generally not very harmful to the environment, but Tofutti does not disclose where they source their tofu from, which is a big factor in sustainability. Maltodextrin is sometimes touted as an unhealthy and unsustainable ingredient. However, it is not very unhealthy when it is in small quantities, and the only claims about its unsustainability are due to the fact that it is often sourced from GMO corn, which uses more pesticides than regular crops. Tofutti does not use any GMO ingredients, which I was happy to see. Their cream cheese also includes sugar. Sugar is sometimes processed with the use of animal bone char, which raises some ethical issues and makes the product non-vegetarian. The sugar used by all Tofutti products are not processed with bone char, which was great to see. None of Tofutti’s products contain dairy; it was nice to see that Tofutti is not contributing to the ethical and environmental nightmare that is the dairy industry. Overall, there was nothing that stood out to me (negatively or positively) about the ingredients of this cream cheese, other than the unfortunate use of palm oil. 

How it's made:


There was very little information online about how Tofutti makes its products, or anything about its manufacturing or how its workers are treated. The only information I could find was that there are various Tofutti plants around the country, and that Tofutti was listed in a top 10 vegan food manufacturers list in 2020.

Who makes it:


David Mintz, the founder of Tofutti, originally made the company to provide Kosher alternatives to dairy products. Tofutti was the first commercially successful vegan ice cream, which is quite a feat that allowed for the success of many more vegan ice cream brands afterwards. There is virtually no information about who works at Tofutti, or anything else about the company. This may be because Tofutti was established in 1981, so it is likely not a very modern company, or sustainable one either. I was disappointed at the lack of information, but I’m not sure if it’s necessarily because Tofutti has something to hide.