“As we reflect on the extraordinary milestones of the past year, Solely stands at the intersection of growth, innovation, and sustainability. Our journey goes beyond crafting delicious snacks; it's about reshaping the future of food. We are excited to continue this journey, providing consumers with snacks that align with their values from a brand they can trust," Sacal shared in a press release.
‘Selling extremely fast’ in convenience stores
Solely offers organic fruit snacks in jerkies, gummies, and dried fruit and two pastas - Organic Spaghetti Squash Pasta and Organic Green Banana Fusilli Pasta. In addition to working with local farmers to secure organic fruits, the company has developed processing and mixing methods to create snacks from whole fruits without fillers or added flavors.
Solely added 18,000 points of sale in 2023, bringing the total to 50,000, including Albertsons, Whole Foods Target, 7-Eleven, CVS, and others. Overall, the company has grown by a 70% CAGR from 2021-2023, per internal metrics, spurred partly by expanded distribution.
In early 2023, Solely brought its fruit snacks to convenience stores, which have become a surprisingly successful channel for the company, Sacal noted.
“When we started selling to Speedway and 7-Eleven, we didn't expect it to be very successful because we knew that we were successful at big channels, natural channels, even some grocery that have natural, but we thought that this was a little bit premium for that channel. ... We're selling extremely fast at places that you would never believe you [can] find organic fruit.”
Growing in 2024: Telling a better brand story to consumers
To drive growth in 2024, Solely is focusing on product innovation, a rebrand, and introducing three new flavors of its Organic Fruit Jerky Line — Mango Blueberry, Mango Passionfruit, and Mango Guava.
Additionally, Solely wants to go beyond the trade spend and promotions to tell the brand's story, Sacal said.
"We go to the farmers, we source the perfect fruit, we invent the technology. We have four manufacturing facilities, we have thousands of people worldwide, just to [create] Solely. ... We need to start communicating a little bit better that this is extremely unique."
He added, “We're starting to work internally on our website and externally with other people to tell a clear story to anyone that's interested that you can get a gummy made out of only fruit with Solely - that's clean, that's indulgent, that you would be happy [to give to] your kid."