Sun Life Sunflower Spread
Friday, March 28, 2014
filed under: Utilization/Trade: Confection-Non-oil
For four generations, Earl Roemer’s family has worked in agriculture. It’s in their blood. But Earl has taken agriculture to a new level. His agricultural background and his love of science have led him to national leadership roles and a successful business. Roemer is president of Nu Life Market, an allergen-free company committed to producing natural, nutritious and delicious foods that are safe for everyone — even people with severe food allergies. His newest product, Sun Life Sunflower Spread, has just been launched at retail stores across the nation.
Jody Kerzman visited with Roemer about this new venture and found out why it’s a product he’s confident will be a hit.
You’ve just launched a new product called Sun Life Sunflower Spread. Tell me about this product and why you’re excited about it.
We are excited about our new Sun Life Sunflower Spread for several reasons. This is a peanut-free and tree-nut free product, produced in our allergen-free facility. There is such a need for this kind of a product. The increased number of people diagnosed with peanut allergies has led many schools and daycares to become peanut-free. That means no peanut butter or peanut products are allowed in those facilities. Parents are looking for alternatives. They want nutritious, protein rich foods to use in sandwiches, dips, or even to grab as a snack to go.
Sun Life Sunflower Spread is the answer they’re looking for. This is a wonderful niche product for us. There is a huge and growing consumer demand for allergen-free food products that are nutritious and taste great. Our roasted sunflower kernel spreads definitely taste delicious. We have just launched three new peanut-free and tree-nut free roasted sunflower kernel spreads. Our flavors include a deep roasted original sunflower kernel flavor, rich natural maple flavor, and a decadent natural chocolate flavor.
But our sunflower spreads aren’t just for people with food allergies. It tastes great and is nutritious as well. Sun Life’s sunflower spreads have typically four times the amount of vitamin E as peanut butter and just as much protein, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc as peanut butter.
Where can consumers find Sun Life Sunflower Spreads?
The spreads will be showing up on grocery store shelves very soon. We’ve just launched the spreads in retail stores. We presented our new sunflower spreads at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif., and this exposure is allowing us to expand into more retail outlets. But even before that show, big grocery store chains such as Kroger, Hyvee, Price Choppers, Natural Products Grocers and Whole Foods expressed interest in carrying our sunflower spreads. We realize those stores are not in every city, so we also market our products through our online store. You can find Sun Life Sunflower Spreads online at shop.nulifemarket.com.
Your sunflower spreads are new, but your company has been around for awhile. Tell me about the history of your company.
Sun Life is a division of Nu Life Market, an allergen-free company committed to bringing natural, great tasting and nutritious foods from our farm to your family. We’ve been producing gluten-free, dairy free and peanut free food products since 2007. We wanted to focus on allergen-free foods because there is such a demand for great tasting and nutritious food products in this category. Our products are produced under a very strict food safety program in a dedicated gluten-free, dairy-free, and peanut-free facility.
What sets us apart from our competitors is the dedication and professionalism of all our staff members. We combine the skill of professional farmers, food scientists and nutritionists to produce high-quality flours, grain products and now sunflower spreads for our customers that they can trust will be safe and healthy options for their families. The food scientists on our staff have worked the past year and a half developing sunflower kernel spreads that will be in demand by many consumers. Our goal is to provide the most nutritious allergen-free food products and services possible from our farm to your family.
You use a lot of sunflower seed kernels. How much do you use and where do those seeds come from?
We use about 1,000 lbs of sunflower seeds per hour. This is a new food process line, so that could change with expansion of markets and consumer demand, but that’s what we’re using right now. We do expect to process even more in the near future. Our seeds are provided to us by both SunOpta and CHS facilities. These companies roast the sunflower kernels for us at those facilities under our specifications, and both have very good roasting and processing facilities. We considered doing all of the processes ourselves, but made the decision to focus on producing only high quality spreads. We use sunflower exclusively grown in the United States. That is very important to us. We will always make sure the sunflower we provide our customers is U.S. grown. Our next products will be organic-produced sunflower spreads, and we’ll make sure those sunflower [kernels] are grown in the U.S. as well.
Are you doing advertising, PR, social media or grassroots efforts to promote your products? If yes what?
We have just begun our marketing campaign. We have taken out full-page advertisements in food allergen-free magazines to begin presenting these spreads to consumers. As our company has in place a network of retail and ingredient sales personnel, these company representatives will be conducting many presentations to potential customers including in store demonstrations.
We also rely on marketing our products through social media and our website. You can find us online at www.nulifemarket.com. Customers can read about all our products on this site and purchase our sunflower seed spreads — along with our other products there, too.