Creating the Healthy Candy Aisle


UNREAL carries an important message: you should be free to indulge in a snack or treat, without regret. Founded by two brothers whose parents always told them that sweets were unhealthy while they were growing up. This began a dream to create indulgent snacks that removed all of the junk but was just as delicious. PSS spoke to Colin Flood, Director of e-Commerce and Digital Marketing at UNREAL Snacks, to learn how they are using e-Commerce to grow the UNREAL brand.

Why Use E-Commerce?

UNREAL can be found in lots of stores such as Whole Foods, Kroger, Wegmans, and many more. However, today consumers are more health conscious and often avoid the candy aisle in the grocery store. The challenge UNREAL faces is how to educate these consumers that a healthier snack exists. UNREAL has turned to e-Commerce to communicate directly with consumers who may be seeking a healthier snack option. With digital marketing/advertising, UNREAL can communicate its brand message effectively and convert health conscious consumers to try a new better-for-you indulgent snack option. Flood says, “ e-Commerce gives UNREAL the ability to showcase ourselves as a healthy option in a way that a grocery store cannot.”

E-Commerce Strategy

UNREAL Snacks sticks to a multi-pronged e-Commerce strategy that has proven to be effective in helping them scale.

  • Test – UNREAL is able to test many variables simultaneously with customers and determine what the true sales drivers are (e.g. varieties, messaging, branding, packaging, etc.).
  • Feedback – Having instant feedback can help avoid costly mistakes in the grocery aisle.  These micro-tests with a direct audience help UNREAL learn what the customers like and dislike.
  • Unwrapping Experience – Continuous improvement on the whole customer experience, which includes the packaging, actual product quality and speed of delivery. Nobody wants a messy, melted, chocolate snack.  Since UNREAL’s product can be impacted through melting when the temperatures get warm, managing the packaging and cold-chain is critical to delivering a great unwrapping experience for the customer. Not cutting corners on packaging materials and ice packs helps ensure the product arrives to each customer in the way it was intended and on-time.

Today, we are in the midst of a shift in how the average consumer shops. With the decline of retail sales and the increase in e-Commerce, “we are at the early stages of an evolution in the way we buy everything,” according to Flood. E-Commerce is creating a way for brands to sell their products and, most importantly, learn and engage directly with their consumers.

Mark Nelson

Mark is CEO of PSS with responsibility for setting the strategic vision of PSS. He is a seasoned business executive and serial entrepreneur. Mark is passionate about growing new businesses and through the PSS platform is helping other CPG companies grow their eCommerce businesses and brands.

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