Luke Fountain Details Atlas Produce's Sunnies Energy Bites Brand Amid 20-Year Celebration
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Snacking, baking, or grazing, dates have now become a sweet central part of my produce world ever since I started in this industry. With its natural sweetness and jammy consistency, the category makes for a great midday munch or a sticky addition for pudding bakes or charcuterie boards. So, when Atlas Produce released its Sunnies Energy Bites brand in August 2022, I was immediately hooked.
“We launched the brand last August, but we are hitting the ground hard right now as retailers are taking stock of new items and warmer temperatures are on the way,” Luke Fountain, Sales, explains. “It’s now available for retail, and we’re excited to get this plant-based, healthy snack option into the hands of shoppers as we have been for the last 20 years.”
That’s right, Atlas Produce is celebrating 20 years and is still innovating in the produce department with its new plant-based brand. When Robert and Nicole Dobrzanski started Atlas Produce in 2003, the pair wanted to put Medjool dates at the forefront of their produce offerings with the mission statement to provide healthy snacking options to shoppers. For the uninitiated, dates aren’t just for Ramadan. Nay, the delicious fruit is meant for any eating occasion, be it for an event or pick-me-up!
Robert had a passion for dates, and he saw there was a void in the produce section that could be filled with Medjools. The naturally caramel-tasting fruit became an instant hit in the Dobrzanski family. After the Dobrzanski children left the nest, Nicole returned to the helm as Chief Executive Officer of the minority and woman-owned business.
“Atlas is hitting its 20th this year, and our version of celebrating is offering healthier snacking options and more product innovations, whether it is sustainable packaging or new flavor profiles for our new Sunnies brand,” continues Luke. “Our Energy Bites have no hidden ingredients, preservatives, or added sugars, and we use non-GMO ingredients, so the discerning consumers can feel good about what they purchase.”
The average shopper is spending more time looking at the back of packaging now to see what ingredients are being used and are interacting with the nutritional panels to see if products are a healthy fit for their diets, Luke tells me. With health and nutrition placed at the top of the requirements list, companies like Atlas Produce are shining brighter on the shelf to health-conscious consumers.
“We are also seeing more shoppers considering alternatives in healthy snacking,” continues Luke. “Sunnies is the only energy bite on the market with a sun-butter-injected center. We have always championed California Medjool dates and healthy snacking. Sunnies Energy Bites is the brainchild of those two ideas. Each serving has 5 g of protein, 3 g of fiber, and is full of potassium and vitamin D. With tremendous flavor and healthy benefits rolled into one bite, it will be hard to pass up on this easy ball of nutrition.”
Available in Cocoa Banana, Cocoa Cherry, and Cocoa Espresso, your shoppers will be delighted to find these convenient SKUs lined up in your store, so why wait?