LesserEvil, a snack company focused on nutritious, organic foods, recently opened a new factory in Danbury, Connecticut.
The company, also based in Wilton, sells their products across the country. Their four main product lines include Chia Crisps, Chia Pop, Krinkle Sticks, and Kettlecorn. Unlike traditional snack foods, LesserEvil uses beans, chia seed, and popcorn as a base for many of their products in an effort to make their snacks healthy and to rid them of “empty calories.” Locally, LesserEvil products are sold in Caraluzzi’s, Stew Leonard’s, Chamomille Natural Foods, and ShopRite, among others.
The company was born at the end of 2004 during the Atkins Diet craze and has changed hands multiple times. LesserEvil went through a period of losing money but were back to level ground when now-CEO Charles Coristine became involved with the company in 2011.
“I loved the name, I loved the concept,” said Coristine in an interview. At that point, the work of landing major distributors had already been done, and he and his team began focusing on developing new products.
“The first thing we did with the team was try to find stuff that we thought was ahead of the curve”, he said, “and that’s what we continue to do.” They decided that being organic was ahead of the curve, as well as being non-GMO (not a genetically modified organism), and so their newest product, the popcorn-chia seed combination Chia Pop, is both. They came up with the idea based on the popularity of both Chia Crisps and Kettle Corn. Chia Pop is now being produced in the Danbury factory, and they are working on the launch of a few new lines, including Wow Pop, which is a cheesy popcorn made specifically for kids.
“We promise to provide something that delivers more than just snack food,” states the LesserEvil website.
Unlike traditional snack foods, LesserEvil uses beans, chia seed, and popcorn as a base for many of their products in an effort to make their snacks healthy and to rid them of “empty calories.” Locally, LesserEvil products are sold in Caraluzzi’s, Stew Leonard’s, Chamomille Natural Foods, and ShopRite, among others.
LesserEvil gives back to the community through snack donations and provides products for Autism Speaks walks across the country. Their Facebook page is full of posts about their snacks as well as inspirational quotes, posts by fans, jokes, and more. “
It’s about selling a lifestyle,” Coristine said, a lifestyle that is all about “awareness.”
LesserEvil is a platinum sponsor of the Non-GMO Project, and their newest product, Chia Pop, is certified non-GMO by the Project.
“The theory behind genetically modified organisms is not necessarily a bad one.” said Coristine, the theory being that a higher yield of products means less expensive products. But in the debate about genetically modified food, Coristine, and LesserEvil, are on the non-GMO side. Not much is known about the negatives of genetically modified foods, and that is one of the reasons why the company takes issue with it.
“Our whole argument is that nobody really knows what they do, we don’t know if they’re healthy, we don’t know what they do to bees…and I think one of the most the most important things is, there’s so many gluten allergies now, because foods have been modified,” Coristine explained.
Connecticut recently passed the first GMO food labeling law in the United States. The law requires companies to label food with genetically modified ingredients, but does not go into effect until four other states pass similar bill, including one state that borders Connecticut. Many other countries have strict regulations or bans on GMOs.
“The fact that the United States doesn’t even label them is a big, big problem,” remarked Coristine.