Whether it’s helping lead Bolthouse Farms’ launch of a new kid-centric snack line or helping the Produce Marketing Association with its Eat Brighter! campaign, Jeff Dunn exudes passion for promoting healthier eating.
“I see the PMA board as a personal opportunity to help the industry to leverage our scale and reach to really change how people perceive fruits and veggies,” said Dunn, Bolthouse chief executive officer of the Bakersfield, Calif.-based firm and a new PMA board member. “As I’ve said a bunch of times — we’re on the right side of history with our products and we provide the solution to getting people to eat healthier.”
More than two years ago, Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co. acquired Bolthouse Farms, and the transition has gone smoothly, he said.
“They’ve have supported our launches across our various businesses, including our new line of kids’ snacks,” said Dunn, 55. “The benefit for Bolthouse is that we now have access to Campbell’s infrastructure and deep consumer relationships.”
The kids’ snack line actually is aimed at moms — and particularly those 18 to 30 years of age and considered millennials — who make family wellness a priority, he said. They are made with real fruits and vegetables with no added sugar. But the packaging design and flavors are designed with kids in mind.
ShakeDowns, for example, are peeled baby carrots with a seasoning packet. Consumers just release the seasoning and shake the bag to flavor the carrots.
Bolthouse is working with retailers to include them in specially designed kids snacking destinations in the produce department, Dunn said.
Last year at the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans, he introduced a partnership in which Bolthouse Farms’ chief marketing officer Tom Putman would lead a marketing group of PMA members to bring the Sesame Street Eat Brighter! initiative to life among grower-shippers and retailers.
PMA President Bryan Silbermann said Dunn’s passion about fighting obesity, which has been recognized from the White House to the New York Times, is evident in this latest partnership.
“Jeff’s commitment and energy are what made the Eat Brighter! campaign a reality, something that would never have happened without him,” Silbermann said. “His great connections and strategic insight have lifted the level of our deliberations immensely. In addition, Jeff is doing nothing less than helping us change the trajectory of marketing within the produce industry — be that through Eat Brighter! or for Bolthouse Farms.”