New Food Company Launches With Aim Of Unjunking The World

Jun 14, 2012, 09:44 ET from Unreal Brands™

Unreal Brands Launching with Five Candy Products across More Than 30,000 Retail Outlets; CVS/Pharmacy first to carry nationwide; New Candy Contains No Corn Syrup or Hydrogenated Oils, Less Sugar, More Nutrition than America's Favorites

BOSTON, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A long simmering feud between Boston entrepreneur Michael Bronner and his 15-year-old son, Nicky, came to a head today with the unprecedented nationwide launch of a new mission-driven food company called Unreal Brands.


Unreal's mission: to unjunk the world. 

It is doing so by proving that junk food doesn't need to be full of junk. That you can unjunk America's junk food and still make it taste great, find it at the usual places, and not have to pay more for it.

Unreal is starting with the unjunking of candy, a $30 billion segment of junk food that is growing by over $1 billion a year.

The first products— Unreal candy— are the tasty end-result of a fight that broke out between father and son on Halloween in 2010.  The candy includes five alternatives to some of America's best-selling candies.   Each is made with real ingredients, less sugar and without hydrogenated oil, corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. 

The father-son dispute began when Nicky, then 13, returned home from trick-or-treating with a big bag of candy.  Immediately, Michael insisted that he throw away half of it; telling his son to read the labels on his stash to discover just how much junk existed in the candy.  Nicky read the labels, but still didn't believe his Dad.

"It took me a while to admit it," Nicky said.  "After lots of research, I realized that my dad was right (for once)."

After hundreds of recipes and nearly two years of intensive research and development, Unreal Brands is partnering in unreal ways with major national retailers.  CVS/Pharmacy is the first major retailer to sign on and support this mission in a huge way.  It will begin unjunking candy aisles with Unreal in their approximately 7,300 stores nationwide beginning in July.

Staples, Kroger, Target, BJ's Wholesale Club, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Michael's, and many other retailers will also unjunk their candy aisles with Unreal at more than 30,000 stores around the country, beginning this summer.

Unreal wants people to think differently about what they're eating and to spark a change in the food industry. They will measure success by the change they create around them.

There are five varieties of Unreal candy at launch:

  • UNREAL 41: Candy Coated Chocolates;
  • UNREAL 54: Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts;
  • UNREAL 77: Peanut Butter Cups;
  • UNREAL 5: Chocolate Caramel Nougat Bar; and
  • UNREAL 8: Chocolate Peanut Caramel Nougat Bar.

Each of the candies feature familiar tastes, but contain 45 percent less sugar, 13 percent less fat, 23 percent fewer calories, 149 percent more protein and 250 percent more fiber than industry leading brands, on average per unit.

At the forefront of the candy innovation is world-renowned chef Adam Melonas.  Melonas, Unreal's Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, worked for two years to find the perfect balance of natural ingredients and great taste.  Adam previously served in some of the world's top restaurants creating masterpieces, including La Terraza del Casino at the exclusive Casino de Madrid when it was awarded a coveted second Michelin star in 2009.

"We knew that the junk that is in traditional candy is there for the candy company, and not for the consumer," Melonas said.  "It's there to make it cheap to manufacture and to keep the candy on the shelf for a long time."

Unreal has built out the rest of its team with extensive experience in the food and nutrition world as well as the marketing world.

Leading the Unreal team is Carlos Canals, President of Unreal, who previously served as the President and General Manager of Kashi, where his leadership and strategic direction helped grow sales by 300 percent. Carlos is also the former President and CEO of Tribe Mediterranean Foods. He led the successful integration of two acquisitions by the Osem Group, a subsidiary of Nestle, which purchased Tribe and Veggie Patch, a vegetarian brand.

Unreal's launch follows a large series of studies and announcements driven by growing concern over obesity and diabetes.  At a time when teens consume an average of 24 teaspoons of corn syrup a day (34 teaspoons of total sugar a day), a leading TV network has pledged to stop running ads for unhealthy foods, while America's largest city aims to regulate the sale of oversized portions of sugary soda.

Unreal wholly supports these efforts, and believes that one of the most effective ways to fight the biggest health epidemic of our time will be through product innovation. If Unreal can offer consumers a better choice with great taste, less sugar, without the junk, that they can buy in the same places, and not have to pay more, it can help change their expectations from junk food and, by doing so, motivate lots of other companies to follow.

Based in Boston, Unreal is co-founded by Michael Bronner. Michael previously founded Digitas and Upromise and is providing significant funding for Unreal. Others who are involved in this mission include innovative and disruptive entrepreneurs, business leaders, and advocates for more nutritious foods, including: Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter; Vinod Khosla,Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems; Jim Pallotta, Managing Director of Raptor Capital Management; Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen and Matt Damon.

For more information about Unreal, visit its new website at or become a Facebook fan at To join Unreal's movement on Twitter follow them @getunreal.

Now, Michael and Nicky are getting along just fine.

Unreal Brands is "unjunking" junk food, proving that junk food doesn't need to be full of junk and can still taste great, be found at the usual places, and not have to cost more. Unreal is starting with candy and plans to lead the unjunking of the major food categories. Unreal is introducing five candy products across more than 30,000 retail outlets, all featuring responsibly sourced ingredients, less sugar, more nutrition, fewer calories, more cacao, peanuts and other natural ingredients and no corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or hydrogenated oils. The company is headquartered in Boston, MA.

SOURCE Unreal Brands™