Crafting a sweet future: How natural solutions are redefining snacking

Simón Sacal, the CEO and founder of Solely, talks about why committing to reducing sugar in CPG is vital for both people's health and the planet.

Simón Sacal, CEO and Founder

May 7, 2024

4 Min Read

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As the founder and CEO of Solely, the fight against excess sugar isn’t just business, it's personal. At a time when everyone's watching what they eat, and labels are being scrutinized like never before, cutting down on added sugars is a big deal. With over two decades in the food industry, I've come to understand the transformative power of harnessing the unadulterated and pure sweetness nestled within fruits. Hence, I launched Solely, a brand devoted to revolutionizing snacking by leveraging the magic of fruit; wholly good and naturally sweet. This cause means a lot to me because it's about our health and the future of our food.

Meeting consumer cravings

Consumers are actively seeking healthier alternatives to artificially sweetened products with a commanding market share. The call for transparent labeling and a return to whole, unprocessed ingredients is propelling a shift toward products that align with health objectives and ethical values. Solely’s unwavering dedication to transparency ensures customers always have a clear understanding of what they’re consuming. With each product variety boasting a short list of between one and three ingredients—all listed on the front of the packaging—our commitment to simplicity and clarity shines through. It's time for the food industry to step up, providing options and prioritizing health, while delivering bold, unforgettable flavor.

Related:The Future of Food: Creating a holistic food system

The impact on health and environment

The consequences of excessive sugar consumption on health are profound, with links to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity rates have nearly tripled since 1975, resulting in around 2.8 million deaths annually due to conditions related to being overweight or obese.

Furthermore, the environmental toll of sugar production, particularly from refined sources, presents sustainability challenges. Depletion of natural resources, deforestation and the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers all contribute to the ecological footprint of sugar cultivation.


Solely's stance against added sugars

At Solely, we take a firm stance against added sugars and artificial sweeteners, opting instead for the natural sweetness of whole fruits. Our snacks preserve the nutritional richness of the fruit, offering a delightful and guilt-free option for consumers of all ages.

Related:The Future of Food: Weak standards undermine regenerative agriculture

Our products go beyond satisfying cravings; they represent a fresh approach to snacking—one that honors the inherent goodness of nature. We believe in transparency, with phrases like "no sugar added" and "nothing but the fruit," resonating strongly with consumers seeking informed choices.

Industry shifts to reduce sugar

While Solely opts for using natural sweetness, the food industry is witnessing a significant shift with solutions emerging to tackle the sugar reduction challenge:

Natural sweeteners—Alternatives such as Stevia, monk fruit and coconut sugar are gaining traction, providing the sweetness people crave without the adverse health effects. SPINS data reveals significant growth in Agave Nectar and Fruit Juice Concentrates, with 41% of new items labeled as 0g sugar per serving.

Product reformulation—Companies are reformulating products to lower sugar content while preserving taste. This includes using fruit concentrates, purees and extracts to enhance sweetness without resorting to refined sugars. However, resulting products can sometimes be closer to the nutritional profile of candy rather than a “better-for-you” alternative to sugar.

Education and awareness—Initiatives such as WHO's "Sugar Smart" and AHA's "Sugar Science" campaigns are increasing awareness about the risks of excessive sugar consumption. This empowers consumers to make informed choices and demand healthier options.

Understanding the impact of sugar on our well-being and the environment is pivotal for making informed decisions about our food. By choosing products that prioritize natural sweetness and whole ingredients, consumers can take charge of their health while contributing to a more sustainable future.

Steps towards change

Looking ahead, there are actionable steps to address the sugar reduction challenge:

Support local and organic agriculture—Opting for products made with locally sourced, organic fruits supports sustainable farming practices and reduces carbon footprints.

Advocate for clearer labeling—Consumers can push for clearer product labels, including the percentage of added sugars and the use of natural sweeteners, enabling informed choices.

Spread awareness—Sharing knowledge about the benefits of reducing sugar intake within our circles creates a ripple effect of health-conscious decisions.

As we navigate the complexities of modern food systems, the need for sugar reduction solutions is more urgent than ever. At Solely, we're proud to lead this movement, offering snacks that embody our commitment to simplicity, purity and the natural sweetness of fruits. I invite you to join us on this journey towards a healthier future. By choosing products that align with our values and advocating for change in the industry, we can make a positive impact on our health and the planet. Together, let's create a world where snacking is a celebration of nature's bounty and a step towards a brighter, healthier future.

About the Author(s)

Simón Sacal

CEO and Founder, Soley Inc.

When he was just 19 years old, Solely’s co-founder and CEO Simón Sacal started a savory snack business using his very own patented process to create fat-free potato chips, something that did not exist at the time. Soon after, Simón and his family launched Fruitex, a company focused on plant-based, nutrient-dense foods in Mexico. Through their drive to make healthy foods more accessible, the Sacals partnered with local governments in Latin America to provide clean and nutritious snacks to children and families throughout the region.

Fast forward to 2018, Simón launched Solely Inc. in the U.S. to bring incredibly clean, high-quality fruit snacks to the U.S. market and beyond. With facilities still based in Mexico, Solely partners with farmers across Latin America to transition cultures from conventional to Organic and to create a healthy, “good-for-you” product innovation pipeline.

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