S'pore social enterprise Boxgreen selling plant-based healthy snacks packed by inmates

Yummy snacks for a good cause.

Zi Shan Kow | January 17, 2022, 12:17 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg

What's better than snacking guilt-free?

Supporting snacks that are good for people and the planet.

Boxgreen, a plant-based snack box social enterprise, offers an alternative to unhealthy snacks that are typically high in sodium and full of artificial preservatives, colouring and flavours.

A wide variety of snacks and crunchies

Boxgreen provides vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free choices, as well as options for customising your order.

If you're looking to try out a variety of products, you can Build Your Own Gift Box (from S$32.90) and fill it with 12 different snacks of your choice.

Or, reach for the 12-pack Variety Box (S$29.90), which contains four of the most popular Boxgreen snacks, with three packets of each:

Images by Boxgreen.

The Crunchies Variety Bundle (S$62.40) contains all six plant-based crunchies, five of which are halal-certified:

  • Coffee Almond Biscotti with Red Quinoa
  • Umami Shiitake Mushroom Chips
  • Honey Mustard Soy Crisps
  • Peanut Pretzel Dark Chocolate
  • Sriracha Multigrain Crackers
  • Mexican Rice Crackers with Baked Cashews

Image by Boxgreen.

They also offer grounded peanut butter in jars (S$12.90) and packs of six (S$11.40/S$11.90), with flavours such as Dark Choc Coconut Peanut Butter and Perky Coffee Peanut Butter.

Boxgreen's peanut butter is grounded locally and free of palm-oil. Nice.

Image by Boxgreen.

Boxgreen offers free shipping for orders over S$30, as well as for its five-pack snack subscription, which is priced at S$12.90.

Here's more about why you should support this social enterprise:

Supporting vulnerable communities

Every Boxgreen snack is packed in prison by beneficiaries of the Yellow Ribbon Project to enhance their skills and employability.

One of their packing facilities is located in Changi Prison.

According to DBS Bank (DBS), which supports Boxgreen, the social enterprise employs and trains more than 50 ex-inmates, and also engages former drug addicts, refugees, single mothers and persons with special needs.

Covid-19 has thrown a spanner in the works for many local businesses. Boxgreen was not spared too.

"There's no way we will leave them to sink or swim," co-founder Walter Oh said in a video interview last year.

Thankfully, the social enterprise did not have to let go of their staff amid the uncertainties as Oh was able to improve cash flow with a loan from DBS.

The loan also supported the company in expanding their operations when sales picked up during Circuit Breaker.

Company with a focus on sustainability

Plant-based and vegan snacks will definitely spark joy among the environmentally-conscious folks among us.

In addition, Boxgreen packaging boxes are made of recycled materials, and are 100 per cent recyclable.

Beyond Boxgreen, their founders have also launched a brand of beverages made from the "ugly fruits", according to Food Navigator Asia.

Ugly fruits refer to fruits that are aesthetically less pleasing and are thrown away due to cosmetic filtering.

Oh's co-founder, Andrew Lim, shared that they hope to help reduce food waste with these beverages called the Imperfect Drinks.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ImperfectDrinks (@im_perfectdrinks)

The fruits and vegetables used to create the Imperfect Drinks are sourced from a Malaysian supplier, while the teas are sourced locally.

Boxgreen is also exploring turning dried fruits, coffee grains and tea leaves into fertilisers.

In Singapore, food waste is one of the major waste streams. Cosmetic filtering is one of the top contributing factors.

A committee member of the Singapore Fruits & Vegetables Importers & Exporters Association told The Straits Times in 2020 that blemished fruits are thrown away as they are not aesthetically appealing to consumers, which forms less than 30 per cent of the imported fruits.

In the same report, a local farm also cited cosmetic filtering as the top reason to wastage before the produce reaches consumers.

Doing good this CNY

For Chinese New Year, Boxgreen is working with Rays of Hope, a group of volunteers who give out meals to residents of York Hill estate in Tiong Bahru, many of whom are elderly residents living alone.

With each purchase of the Give 福 forward bundle (S$33.80), Boxgreen will be donating S$5 to Rays of Hope to match each purchase with a goodie bag that will be given out to York Hill residents to celebrate the festive season.

The Chinese New Year Limited Edition Box contains three crunchies:

  • Peanut Pretzel Dark Chocolate
  • Sriracha Multigrain Crackers with Peanut and Beans
  • Mexican Rice Crackers with Baked Cashews

From now until Jan. 19, the CNY box bundles are 20 per cent off.

Image via Boxgreen.

This article was made possible with the support of DBS Bank.

Through this partnership, we hope to inspire more people to take small but important steps towards a sustainable lifestyle, and raise awareness of purpose-driven businesses and individuals that are leading the way in driving positive change.

Discover more about DBS Bank’s sustainability initiatives here.

Top images by Boxgreen.