Building What We Believe In


ESCOGO LLC specializes in the development and manufacturing of biobased consumer goods. Our mission is to provide consumers with safer, healthier alternatives to petroleum-based products. We do this through leveraging a unique expertise in sustainable, plant-based materials that serve as the building block for all ESCOGO products.

Our story began with a simple question asked at a backyard barbecue in the summer of 2009; why do grillers continue to use petrochemical-based lighter fluids despite the obvious drawbacks? The answer was clear, convenience. They’re fast and effective. So we set out to create an alternative offering the same convenience without the compromises. The result is Smarter Starter Fluid, a plant based lighter fluid that lights easily, has no odor, and won’t leave bad tasting petrochemicals on your grilled food.

Smarter Starter Fluid was crafted with care through trial and error. We tested over 60 different formulations before finding the perfect balance between fast lighting and smooth burning with no flare-ups. What’s more, we achieved these results using a 95 percent biobased blend of used cooking oils, meaning that we were taking waste material and not only giving it new life, but creating a product of higher quality than what it’s replacing!

Smarter Starter Fluid hit the market in 2009 and quickly grew into a regional favorite. In 2013, ESCOGO LLC was formed to support its national launch. Today, Smarter Starter Fluid is the top selling petrochemical-free lighter fluid in the U.S. with availability in over 8,000 retail stores nationwide. While Smarter Starter Fluid is already redefining the consumer’s notion of charcoal lighter fluid, our mission runs much deeper. Our goal for Smarter Starter Fluid is to lead the conversion of all lighter fluid from petroleum- to plant-based. By doing so, we’re providing a better grilling experience, while also making barbecue a safer and healthier activity. Similarly, we’re also crafting new biobased products that will do the same in their respective market segments.

ESCOGO’s commitment is to protecting consumers’ health and our environment. From products to processes to packaging, all of our decisions are driven by this commitment and a desire to empower consumers to make better-informed purchasing decisions.


ESCOGO crafts high-quality products made from renewable, plant-based materials. Our products are…

  • All our products are bio-based and plant derived. Smarter Starter Fluid is specifically a USDA Certified Biobased product.
  • Made from recycled, waste materials to minimize the use of new resources.
  • Made from used cooking oil blends collected from local restaurants.
  • Ultra-low toxicity to minimize poisoning and storage safety risks.
  • Third-party tested to ensure optimal product safety.

From facility design to fleet to production, all ESCOGO operations are constructed to minimize environmental impacts.

  • Solar powered production with 115kW solar panel array.
  • Zero-waste facility ensures all waste products are reused.
  • Oil collections using alternative fuel fleet.
  • Plant sited on reclaimed junk yard following soil and groundwater remediation.



ESCOGO packaging features the highest quality components composed of environmentally conscious materials.

  • Unlike industry standard, we use only PET bottles for Smarter Starter Fluid to allow for easy recycling.
  • PET use eliminates roughly 6.5 tons of PVC from the waste stream per 100,000 bottles. PET production also requires 84% less energy use and results in 71% less greenhouse gas emissions than PVC.