For most teenagers, snacking on sweets is enough. But for 15-year-old Nicky Bronner, it isn’t. With the help of his millionaire dad, a progressive chef, superstar Tom Brady and countless others, Nicky is taking a different approach: starting his own candy company.
The new candy line includes all-natural spins on classics like Milky Way candy bars, M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and will debut in Target (NYSE:TGT), Kroger (NYSE:KR), BJ’s Wholesale Club and CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) stores beginning in the next few months.
The idea was born when Nicky’s parents threw out some of his Halloween candy as part of a push toward healthier snacking. Nicky began to research candy to find evidence that the sweet treats weren’t so bad — instead, he realized what every teen seems to at some point: His parents were right.
But for the young entrepreneur, it didn’t stop there.
With the help of his dad’s money and connections, he created Unreal Brands with a social mission in mind: creating candy with all the delicious taste, but without the unhealthy ingredients that can cause obesity, heart disease and diabetes, Unreal Brands told The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Bronner — who made his fortune as an entrepreneur and investor — helped his son organize meetings with venture capitalists, retail executives and food scientists. They also visited Europe and South America on the hunt for ingredients and talent.
The startup’s 19 employees include former executives from Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Kellogg (NYSE:K), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Godiva Chocolatier, according to the WSJ, while Mr. Bronner’s friend Tom Brady and the quarterback’s model wife have agreed to endorse the candy.
While Unreal still is a rookie compared to big-name candy makers like Hershey (NYSE:HSY) or Nestle (PINK:NSRGY), Nicky definitely has a few advantages over most 15-year-olds with a bright idea.