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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is Gardein?

Gardein is a plant-based food brand which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Vegan & Vegetarian Foods Ratings Table. Although Gardein has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in Gardein if it applied for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement.

Find out more about the ethical issues facing the Ethical Vegan & Vegetarian Foods sector.

What does Gardein do?

Gardein is a meat-free food brand which was founded in 2003 by Yves Potvin. The name Gardein is a portmanteau of ‘garden’ and ‘protein’.

In which areas does Gardein perform poorly?

Gardein was marked down under our criteria for GM, as despite being Non-GMO Project verified, parent company, Conagra Brands, does use GMOs. It also gets a bottom score for Organic due to a lack of certification, and Animal Welfare due to its poor score in a recent BBFAW report.

Conagra Brands donated an amount above our threshold in recent election cycles so Gardein also gets a bottom score for Political Donations. Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

Past Criticisms of Gardein’s record

Gardein’s parent company, Conagra Brands, recently paid over $8m for air quality violations at its processing plant in Minnesota. The plant released hydrogen sulphide over allowed levels more than 2500 times between 2020 and 2022.

In which areas does Gardein score well for its ethics?

Gardein scores well for our Vegetarian criteria as it is certified by

We found no public record criticisms of Gardein relating to; Nuclear, Fossil Fuels, Vegetarian, or Armaments, therefore the brand scores well for these criteria. Find out more about how we rate.

How can Gardein improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that Gardein is awarded with on The Good Shopping Guide’s  Ethical Vegan & Vegetarian Foods Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria.

To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Gardein has some issues to resolve, including its poor animal welfare record. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give Gardein some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our Ethical Mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating