Starting a new candy brand from scratch might seem ill-fated in an industry filled with iconic brands like M&Ms and Snickers. But that isn’t stopping Nicky Bronner.
The home-schooled 15-year-old is out to build Unreal Brands Inc., a food business on a mission to “unjunk” snacks by creating products that contain only natural ingredients.
“I love to eat candy,” said the sandy-haired teenager while surrounded by samples of his new products, which are near-replicas of candies such as Milky Way and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Nicky came up with the business idea following a dispute with his parents regarding his sweet tooth and their push for him to eat healthier snacks.
A few years ago, Michael and his 13 year old son Nicky got into an argument over Halloween candy. Nicky came home with his bag of loot, went to bed, and woke up the next morning to find that his dad had confiscated most of it. It played out the way these fights normally do, with the candy gone and the Nicky going to his room.
Later, Nicky did some research online (to prove to his dad that candy isn’t so bad). He discovered that his dad was right (for once).
It’s not that Nicky thought candy was healthy. It’s that he didn’t know how bad it really was. What Nicky learned was that the worst parts of candy (like hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives) aren’t there to make it taste good. They’re there to make it cheaper to produce.
Nicky, had a hunch that without the junk, candy could taste better. With the help of his older brother Kris, and his dad, they set out to prove it.