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OPN Connect Newsletter 244 · November 18, 2021

Joolies Changing the “Date-ing” Game


Joolies, a Coachella, CA-based family farm, has several new offerings available in the organic Medjool date segment.

One such offering is the Snack Packa compact, on-the-go package that contains three pitted dates.

Soli Organic1 January 2022

“This is great for kids, lunch boxes, hiking, travel, and post-workout,” said Mark Masten, CEO of Joolies. “We wanted to provide convenience, so instead of reaching for processed energy bars, people could choose an on-the-go snack that’s a whole food, packed with energy, satiating, and delicious too.”

Mark Masten, CEO, Joolies

Then there’s the organic Medjool date syrups, which come in three flavors: original, cinnamon, and cocoa.

Vitalis Jan 2022

“We wanted to provide convenience, so instead of reaching for processed energy bars, people could choose an on-the-go snack that’s a whole food, packed with energy, satiating, and delicious too.” – Mark Masten

“They allow us to upcycle fruit that doesn’t make the cut for our packaged dates, and the results are delicious,” Masten said. “Sweetened only with dates, the syrups are great plant-based swaps for traditional sugar or artificial sweeteners. They can be used in coffee, tea; over oatmeal, ice cream; and in baking.”

For decades, the Medjool industry has done things a certain way—packaging dates in clear plastic tubs.

Soli Organic2 January 2022

David Kohl and Greg Willsey, co-founders of Joolies, saw an opportunity to refresh and disrupt the Medjool category and change the “date-ing game!” They also wanted to focus on sustainability.

“Joolies stands for organic medjool dates—we do not have non-organic products,” Masten said. “We’ve also taken it a step further and are certified Glyphosate Residue Free. We actually are the farm and grow the dates that we sell, so we know exactly how our dates are harvested, sorted, and packaged. We are offering a product to organic retailers who understand and appreciate that it takes something different to wake up a sleepy category.”

Another thing that sets Joolies apart as a brand is that it was designed by millennials for millennials, a key demographic group for retailers.

“Consumers are always telling us how much they love our product and packaging,” Masten said. “We care about organic living, sustainability, quality, and family. Our brand and decisions are driven by a laser focus on the consumer and always aiming to innovate.”

“We care about organic living, sustainability, quality and family. Our brand and decisions are driven by a laser focus on the consumer and always aiming to innovate.” – Mark Masten

“We were thoughtful in designing a more environmentally friendly package that also was eye-catching in stores,” Masten said. “Our vibrant mint green boxes with the vertical orientation bring attention not only to the Joolies brand but to the category as a whole.”

NatureSafe Jan 2022

“We’ve had great success in the press and on social media, with consumers sharing their love of the brand and our delicious organic Medjool dates,” Masten said. “Organic medjool dates are an amazing fruit with health benefits like antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, and potassium, but many consumers are not familiar with them. We call them Palm Tree Candy because they really taste like a delicious caramel.”

Joolies believes there will continue to be a slow return to more in-store shopping, which had taken a hit due to the pandemic.

“Organic medjool dates are an amazing fruit with health benefits like antioxidants, fiber, magnesium and potassium, but many consumers are not familiar with them. We call them Palm Tree Candy because they really taste like a delicious caramel.” – Mark Masten

“Our products really stand out on [the] shelf, but as a new brand that may not already be on someone’s weekly list, [our dates] have been harder to discover remotely since people have been shopping online more due to COVID,” Masten said. “On a larger trend, we see [an] opportunity to become a staple in people’s pantries as they continue to seek out healthier sugar/sweetener alternatives or as more people incorporate plant-based diets into their lives.”

While Joolies may be facing more competition recently, it believes organic becoming mainstream is a great thing.

“The more organic out there, the better for the earth, for our company, and for our bodies and health,” Masten said. “To us, organic is one of the must-haves, but it’s not the only thing Joolies has to offer. We sell fruit from our own farm; we have high quality standards; and we deliver a fun snacking experience with our packaging design.”

Ocean Mist Jan 2022

Looking ahead, Joolies' plan is to continue to find ways to get in front of more consumers both in stores and online.

“To us, organic is one of the must-haves, but it’s not the only thing Joolies has to offer. We sell fruit from our own farm; we have high quality standards; and we deliver a fun snacking experience with our packaging design.” – Mark Masten

“Once they try us, consumers can’t get enough, so driving trial through promotions and sampling programs [is] important,” Masten said. “We have plenty of room to grow still as a newcomer to the organic Medjool date category, and our team is hard at work driving distribution and brand awareness. However, we do have some exciting innovations we are working on for later this year and 2022. Since our goal is to introduce new consumers to the category, we’ve got some fun ideas that help make Medjool dates super snackable.”

Global Organics Group Jan 2022
OPS Retailer Registration January 2022

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