The American candy industry's Goliath just met its David - and they are armed with chocolate candy treats. Not ordinary candy, of course. That's the point. It's UNREAL™ candy. Candy with a conscience.
A post-Halloween feud between Boston entrepreneur Michael Bronner and his now 15-year-old son Nicky fueled an unprecedented nationwide launch of a new mission driven food company called UNREAL™ Brands.
UNREAL'S™ Mission: To Unjunk™ the World.
The UNREAL™ Beginnings
UNREAL™ founder Michael Bronner knows a good idea when he hears it. He's made a name for himself finding opportunities where others see obstacles. When no one knew quite how to bring direct marketing to the digital space, he founded Digitas and pioneered the field. Then he founded Upromise to reinvent the loyalty program model...and with it, the economics of saving for college.
So when a social entrepreneur approached him with an idea for reinventing everyday candy, Bronner jumped. The young entrepreneur resembled Bronner himself: passionate, informed, hungry. In this case, for candy. Lots of it. It was, in fact, Bronner's son Nicky. Upset to find his parents had confiscated his hard-earned trick-or-treat candy the morning after Halloween, then thirteen-year-old Nicky decided to refute the crazy notion that he shouldn't eat so much candy. Boy, was Nicky wrong.
Even a diehard sweet tooth like Nicky had to admit that candy contains a lot of sugar and calories, and should be enjoyed only as an occasional treat. Yet Nicky had a hunch that without junk ingredients like hydrogenated fat and artificial flavors, he could feel better about the candy he did eat, and it could still taste great. If nature could make candy without junk - like the fruit his parents always pushed on him - why couldn't he? Nicky and Michael joined forces to prove they could unjunk candy.
Candy without the Junk?
After a few false starts approaching chefs and scientists ("Junkless junk food? Impossible!"), Nicky connected with a British physicist who just happens to be one of the world's leading food scientists...and an immediate fan of the project. The physicist then connected Nicky with Adam Melonas, an innovative Australian chef then at a Michelin-rated restaurant in Madrid. The two hit it off, Adam moved to the United States, and they began to re-engineer America's taste in candies.
Ingredients like hydrogenated fat and corn syrup don't do much for candy's taste, so UNREAL™ follows a different mantra: "Unjunk junk food!" Corn syrup? Out. Hydrogenated oils? Out. GMOs? Out. Artificial flavors? Out. Synthetic colors? Out. 30% less sugar, 60% more protein and 250% more fiber on average per serving than the leading competing brands. As important as what would be absent from UNREAL™ candy is what would be in it: chocolate with double the cacao.
It took Nicky Bronner and chef Adam Melonas, UNREAL's™ Chief Innovation Officer, two years and thousands of recipes to perfect its first five candies—UNREAL™ 41: Candy Coated Chocolates, UNREAL™ 54:Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts, UNREAL™ 5:Chocolate Caramel Nougat Bar, UNREAL™ 8: Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat Bar, and UNREAL™ 77:Peanut Butter Cups. Luckily, the team had a growing band of UNREAL™ professionals equally committed to delicious, responsibly sourced candy behind them.
UNREAL™ insists on the best ingredients. The dairy comes from pasture raised cows in New Zealand and California without antibiotics or added hormones. The organic palm kernel oil from a sustainable and organic plantation in Brazil. Traceable cacao beans from farms in Ghana and Ecuador. Natural colors instead of synthetic dyes, like red from beets and blue from purple cabbage. Why take all this trouble? Because it's the right thing to do for people and the planet.
The suggested retail price for UNREAL's™ candies is comparable per serving with the competition and available nearly everywhere - at local groceries and drugstores, not just gourmet shops.
It was worth the wait. UNREAL™ candies don't just have a nice-looking ingredient list, they taste great. A food revolution has been born! Ask Tom Brady, Giselle or Matt Damon - just some of the unreal people that are passionate about this Mission to Unjunk Junk Food. UNREAL™ is now available in 18,000 stores nationwide, at major retailers like CVS and Staples, and will be available this fall in Target. Thanks to a passionate new company named UNREAL ™, parents from coast to coast can feel a little better about letting their kids enjoy their Halloween loot this year.
On a Candy-Coated Mission
With a simple idea brilliantly executed, UNREAL™ Brands has become a magnet for creative and entrepreneurial professionals. With incredibly diverse backgrounds they are an eclectic mix you'd never find in any other company in the world. But it works. Why? Because they're drawn together by a common mission. To challenge what we've come to accept in our food. To change the way junk food is made.
To Unjunk the World™.
Website:http://getunreal.com/; Twitter: @getunreal / http://twitter.com/getunreal