I’ve been there before—on the hunt for Whole30 compatible products amid a sea of options. I’ve been stuck in the grocery aisle, reading label after label. But I think I can help save you some time. Here’s the trick: when you see the Whole30 Approved® stamp, you can skip all the label reading.
How do I know? Like I said, I’ve been there. I stumbled into CrossFit in 2012, and later experienced my first Whole30 as part of a gym-wide group program in 2015.
My Whole30 journey started with a full understanding of, and commitment to, the framework and rules. I was stoked to jump in, but found myself incredibly limited on time while working demanding hours. Grocery shopping was taking so much longer than it needed to.
Successfully completing my Whole30 was a top priority. I found a way to make grocery shopping easier once I discovered the world of officially Whole30 Approved brands. I fell in love with the brands, their commitment to quality ingredients, and their transparency, mission, and values. Seeing the Whole30 Approved mark on these products immediately earned my trust.
Now, it’s literally my job to find and help highlight products to simplify your shopping trips—during your 30-day elimination and beyond. Like it did for me, the Whole30 Approved Program can be a powerful timesaver to make your life a little bit easier while you’re handling the big stuff—changing your life with the Whole30.
Read on to learn all about what Whole30 Approved means, the vetting process, and why you can skip the label reading when you see our stamp of approval.
What Does it Mean to be Whole30 Approved?
Our Whole30 Approved label lets our community know that a product is 100% compatible with the rules of our program. It also signifies that the brand has been vetted by the Whole30 HQ team.
Since the focus is on making it easier for Whole30 participants to shop, we start with the ingredients. So anything with a Whole30 Approved logo is free of:
- Added sugar
- Sweeteners (natural and artificial, like xylitol, stevia, or monk fruit)
- Alcohol of any type
But we go deeper than what you can find on the ingredients list.
The team has to feel confident that partner companies’ offerings, core values, and mission are in line with ours—and those of our community. That means evaluating animal welfare practices, DEI efforts, sustainability, and a general focus on health.
The certification is our stamp of approval. And you’ll find it right next to other certifications a product has earned—like certified organic or fair trade. We take Whole30 approval seriously because it’s important to help you find compatible products from brands you can feel good about supporting.
How Does the Approval Process Work?
Generally, if a brand wants to be a licensed Whole30 Approved partner, they reach out through our website. There’s an application they complete and digitally submit to us.
This kicks off the investigation phase, where we look deeply into the products to ensure all of the ingredients used are Whole30 compatible. Some prospective partner brands have even worked with us to change recipes to make their product compatible. At this point in the process, we also consider accessibility so the products we approve are available for purchase both online and in local grocery stores.
If those key boxes are checked, we move into an evaluation of the brands and companies themselves. The Whole30 team uses this stage to analyze whether the products and company are aligned with our program and our mission, vision, and values. We don’t want to partner with companies or highlight products that are heavily influenced by diet culture or have gross (sexist, racist, bigoted, etc.) approaches to business.
When we’re comfortable with the product and the company, we work to finalize the partnership and onboard the new brand as an official Whole30 Approved partner. They put our Whole30 Approved logo on their products and website, and we announce their arrival and welcome them into the Whole30 community.
There’s one more thing worth mentioning, though. The stamp of approval is continuously evaluated. This is important to maintain our own brand integrity. So we reserve the right to remove the Whole30 Approved license of a company who changes the way they operate or makes choices that are out of alignment with our values.
Now You Can Skip the Label—and Save Time at the Store
The next time you’re faced with an intimidating wall of pasta sauce at the grocery store, you know what to do. Find the Whole30 Approved logo. Skip the label reading. Gently toss the sauce into your cart. Move onto your next item.
And this approach isn’t just for your 30-day elimination program. Shopping can be a pain at any point during the year, so skipping the label helps when you’re living your Food Freedom, too.
You may find out gluten or dairy or soy just don’t work well with your body. The Whole30 Approved stamp is your best friend, helping you pick a dressing, sauce, or other product that fits with what you know about your body. And it’s also a way to find out about fun and exciting products you’ve never tried before.
You don’t have to run out to the store right now to test out the “see the stamp, skip the label” approach to shopping. But I hope it helps you save some time and energy at the store. Because I’ve been there before, too—sailing through the aisles, easily picking out amazing options, and heading home in half the time.