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Project 7 gives consumers the option of saving the world through their purchase power.

Purchase power

Project 7 helps consumers make a difference through everyday buys

Have you ever impulsively bought a pack of gum at the checkout line? If it was SAVE the Earth gum from Project 7, you can feel good about your impulse buy because you not only got something to help keep your breath minty fresh, you also just helped plant a tree. 

Making it easy for people “to do good on the go through ordinary, everyday purchases” is the idea behind Project 7, a California-based small business founded by Tyler Merrick in 2008. We recently spoke with Merrick about his unique business model and how his company is helping save the world one pack of gum at a time.

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Navigate: Tell us about Project 7.
Tyler Merrick: People want to give back, but they don’t always know how or have the time. Or they may feel like their contribution would be too small to have any meaningful impact. That’s where Product 7 comes in. We make items like gum, mints and bottled water that offer a convenient way for them to marry a product need with a built-in giving platform. For every purchase of a Project 7 product, good is done in one of seven areas of need, like feeding the hungry or healing the sick.

So consumerism isn’t all bad?
Our economy is built on consumption, and sometimes we feel bad about empty purchases. Project 7 allows you to be resourceful and buy in a way that helps to fund different areas of need. You don’t have to research which nonprofits to give to or feel bad if you don’t think your gift is big enough or if you don’t have enough time to volunteer. Nike became a brand for those who aspired to be the best athletes. Our brand is for those who aspire to solve world problems.

Where are your products available?
Our SAVE the Earth gum is available nationwide at Walmart registers, our FEED the Hungry gum is available at Target registers and all four of our gums and three mints are available at 7-Eleven stores. Our water, gum and mints are available at all Caribou Coffee locations. A full list of our retailers can be found on our website (

What’s next for Project 7?
This is our fifth year of business, and over the next couple of years we would like to engage our current customer base in the brand on new levels. We want to show the impact of their purchases in 3-D, and to do that, we have to do a better job of telling stories. If we can tell the story, then others will share our story, and that’s how support and velocity grows at the retail level. We also have to continue to make great products at a competitive price with the giving infrastructure that we’re known for at Project 7.

Please visit us at for extended coverage on Project 7 and other featured small-business customers.

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