Anyone walking through his or her local grocery store is well aware that October equals pink-ribbon-palooza. But just because an item is affixed with a pink ribbon doesn't mean that all the proceeds from that yogurt or popcorn purchase will go to supporting a good cause. Unfortunately, our research has shown that our purchases have very little affect on donations to breast cancer charities. While there are other ways to support those fighting breast cancer, if you shop smart, you can still impact change with your grocery shopping. We rounded up the best options for doing right by breast cancer charities.
Good: Northland Juices. Pink-topped Northland dark fruit juice blends benefit breast cancer year-round, not just during October — not to mention, they're packed with healthy antioxidants and vitamins. According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Northland Juices donates 25 cents per 64 oz. bottle purchase, which is a whopping 5 to 10 percent of the retail price. Northland Juices has donated $500,000 since 2006.
Better: Yoplait and General Mills. Last year, Yoplait improved their Save Lids to Save Lives program by doing away with mail-in only lid collection. Consumers can still submit donation codes from their pink lids online this year, plus pink lids appear on more than 20 other General Mills products. General Mills will still donate 10 cents per lid up to $2.5 million total. The lids from all General Mills products can be submitted (by mail or by entering the donation codes online) together, and the deadline is also now extended to June 30, 2013 — six months longer than in previous years.
Best: 5-Hour Energy. 5-Hour Energy is donating 5 cents to the Avon Foundation for Women Breast Cancer Crusade for every pink lemonade-flavored 5-Hour Energy sold until December 31, 2012. You don't need to do anything to get 5-Hour Energy to donate — in fact, they've pledged a minimum donation of $75,000, which beats the pants off many brands' maximum donations. 5-Hour Energy also gets kudos for not pink-branding products that won't contribute to the donation amount.
Buyer Beware: Proctor & Gamble products. You'd be hard-pressed to pass through a grocery store this month without seeing a pink-branded Proctor & Gamble product (they include everything from Bounty paper towels to Venus razors to Bounce fabric softener). But despite that pink ribbon logo, it's unlikely your purchase will have any impact on the fight against breast cancer. For every coupon redeemed from the October 14 BrandSaver coupon book, 1 cent will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Research Foundation, according to P&G's Give Hope campaign Facebook page. Plus, your pink purchase won't contribute to breast cancer at all if you don't redeem a BrandSaver coupon. To raise awareness and up that donation amount, go to the Give Hope Facebook page instead and personalize an awareness-themed image to set as your cover photo; P&G will donate $1 for each customized image up to $25,000.