candy bars
junk food
maggie rulli
preservative-free candy
real food
February 4, 2014

Junk-Free Junk Food


Shelby: Okay, nobody said candy was good for you, but sometimes those cravings just won’t go away. That is why one teen in Massachusetts decided to take the junk out of junk food and he turned his sweet idea into a business. Maggie Rulli gives us a taste of how he did it in today’s Generation Money. Girl: Partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Boy: Red 40. Girl: Artificial flavors. Girl: Yellow 6, yellow 5. Maggie: Alright, so that is your average candy bar. Now let’s check out a new kind of candy. Kris Bronner: So, we use turmeric, we use cabbage, we use beetroot. So, all natural flavorings. Maggie: I am, like, eating a vegetable? Kris: I wouldn’t go that far. Maggie: Okay. Fine, not quite. But thanks to Kris Bronner, your favorite sweets are getting remixed. Kris: We want to change the world by reinventing junk food, starting with candy. Maggie: See, Kris has always loved candy but his parents didn’t love all the junk in candy. Kris: No kid likes to tell their parents that they’re right. Instead of arguing with them, pick up the phone and call someone, and try to reinvent it. Maggie: So, that is exactly what he did. And Unreal, the unjunked candy bar, was unwrapped. Kris: We thought, ‘No one else is doing this. Here’s an opportunity.’ You know, it really starts small and then it can get bigger. We didn’t start as an entrepreneur or as a company. It was more, you know, this question, ‘why does it have to be so bad for you?’ and ‘let’s see if we can make it better.’ Maggie: Now a freshman at MIT, Kris has developed quite the sweet tooth for business, working on the company between classes and, of course, testing the product. What are some of the ingredients that are in the caramel that make it so caramely but still unjunked? Kris: So, when we were working with the chef, he’s a big stickler for ‘let’s be traditional.’ Really, it’s just milk, water and sugar. Maggie: All Unreal candy contains no fake stuff. Kris: This one just tastes unreal! Maggie: For Kris, that means no artificial flavors, no hydrogenated oils, no corn syrups, no hormones, no genetically modified organisms, no strange-sounding preservatives. Kris: TDHQ, which is tert-Butylhydroquinone. Maggie: And there will never be any artificial colors. Due to growing evidence linking artificial colors to numerous health problems, other countries like the UK, Finland and France have already banned them entirely. So instead, Unreal uses only sustainably sourced, all real ingredients. But the number one requirement for this unjunked Willy Wonka? Kris: It’s a fine balance between nutrition and between the taste, but taste always rules. Maggie: Alright. Cheers! Let’s try it. After just a few years, Unreal is now sold in Targets nationwide, on Amazon and in thousands of local stores across the country, like right here on MIT’s campus. Kris: This is our top seller and, as you can see, it is pretty much empty. Maggie: It is sold out! And it seems like everyone, from Channel One reporters to football stars, wants a bite. You have had people like Tom Brady, Bill Gates, Giselle, Jason Bourne (a.k.a. Matt Damon) all talk about how much they like your product and your mission. What is that like to have these people talking about you? Kris: It’s so cool! And it just goes back to how important the mission is and how when you’re trying to change something and you’re a kid that people really, really want to help out. Maggie: Kris says if you can do it with candy, you can do it with anything. So, now he is calling on you to unjunk the world. Kris: To ask these questions: why does it have to be so bad for you? Why does it have to be this way in anything? That can be environment, that can be food, that can be transportation. When a kid gets really into what they love doing, when they get passionate, anything is possible. Maggie: Maggie Rulli… Kris: Yes! Maggie: …Channel One News. Shelby: These peanut butter cups are really good! So, do you have a favorite candy that you want unjunked? Well, go to, leave a comment for Kris, and your wish might just become a reality!


16 comments on “Junk-Free Junk Food

  1. Cori Taylor

    Butterfingers, skittles, twix, laffy taffy, 3 musketeers, snickers, doritos, heath, pay day, take 5, 100,000, licorice, york peppermint patty, kit kats, airheads, almond joy, sour patch kids

  2. Anonymous

    I would probably want Laffy Taffys or Jolly Ranchers up junked because I don’t think unreal has anything in that category.

    1. Laura

      Twix, 3 musketeers, snickers, licorice, york peppermint patty, kit kats, airheads, almond joy,laffy taffy, sour patch kids

  3. Camden

    I loved Pop-Tarts, but when my parents made me stop, I was upset. Kris, could you be able to make “unjunked” Pop-Tarts for me?


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