PHOENIX — It’s no secret that there are a growing number of mouths to feed in this world. Population continues to spike, which means we need resources to keep them happy and healthy, the primary resource being food.

But as the number of people in this planet grows, the health of the earth declines. From climate change to destructive farming practices, it’s a situation that can no longer be ignored. Ninety-five percent of the world’s food depends on our topsoil, and that soil is eroding a staggering 10 times faster than it can be replenished.

The writing is on the wall: The food industry must shift to more sustainable and health-conscious practices. And Quinn Foods is on a mission to help.


Kristy Lewis, the founder and chief visionary officer of the brand, shared the story of Quinn’s beginnings and how the brand strives to be better, not perfect, every day at the SNX convention being held March 27-29 in Phoenix, AZ. She called on others to join her in supporting farmers in a way that cultivates a healthier and more sustainable food system.

The brand’s beginnings lie in Kristy’s love of microwave popcorn. She realized the snack she once enjoyed was full of unnecessary chemicals and artificial ingredients, and she set out to do it in a way that was better for our bodies and the planet.


“I was making a connection between the farmer and the food. But there was a huge disconnect with what I was wanting to consume and what was in this bag,” Lewis said. “I realized there was a better way. I kept thinking someone was going to reinvent this classic snack in a healthier way, but it didn’t happen. I jumped in.”

After connecting with the right farmers, the right bags made with compostable paper and a ton of hard work, Quinn nailed down a process that would work for her vision. That vision included partnering with Grain Place, a regenerative farming group that allowed the brand to have farm-to-bag transparency.

The snack brand has since broken into other areas of snacking, including its beloved gluten-free peanut butter pretzel nuggets. But as it’s scaled up, it’s never compromised on its partnership with growers and promoting scalable, sustainable farming.

“Erosion can lead to up to fifty percent loss of yield of crops, and the North American grain yields are supposed to drop over twenty-five percent by 2050,” Lewis said. “And this all matters because we are expected to feed 9 million people by 2050. But we are in a position of power to fix this.”

The Quinn team dug in through committing to regenerative agriculture, and truly “knowing thy farmer” as Lewis puts it. This means working with growers to understand what their unique needs are and a focus on reducing tilling and pesticide use. This allows them to rely on mother nature to use its own devices such as pollinators to keep a farm healthy, which leads to things like better carbon sequestering and water retention.


“It’s really about creating this natural environment that once was,” she said. “A regenerative farm is like a sponge that creates a resilient ecosystem. This really produces nutrient dense food and improves yield and food security.”

Quinn hopes to lead the charge of change in the snacking industry to a more conscious system that keeps sustainability in mind. That lead to the brand’s “be better, do better,” initiative, which challenges others to move forward without holding themselves to perfection. Small steps are the beginning of monumental change, something Lewis believes is possible and calls others to act upon in their businesses.

“We need to start banding together, and I challenge you all to really think about this,” she said. “No matter where you are in your company, always seek to understand, always ask questions and always seek to do better than you are today.”