By Tracey Cheek

Sun-Maid is launching its first ad campaign in a decade to halt the raisin's "slow decline" as it fights an explosion of competing snack options for the attention of millennials and young parents, CEO Harry Overly told Cheddar on Tuesday.

"We've got a bit of a generational gap here, the biggest source of volume for our category and our beloved product really falls to the baby boomers and greatest generation," he said.

He said Sun-Maid is contending with a "plethora" of new products aimed at young parents, including snack packs and kits.

"A brand such as Sun-Maid, which is iconic in most Americans' eyes, has been one that's been a bit absent," said Overly. "It's because we haven't been innovating, we haven't been communicating, and we haven't been putting out a top-of-mind message."

Before joining Sun-Maid in 2018, Overly, who was previously the CEO of North America for Deoleo, the seller of the largest olive oil brands in the world and best known in the U.S. for Bertolli olive oil. He also held several positions in marketing, sales, and product innovation within Kraft Foods, The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.

Now at the helm of Sun-Maid, Overly is aiming for $100 million in growth over the next three to four years by tapping into nostalgia and brand loyalty to "make a relevant connection with today's parents."

"If you think about all of the food trends ー in terms of clean ingredients, knowing the origins, no added sugars, different aspects like that ー our product is intrinsic with all of those characteristics," he said. "We just have to get out and start talking about it."

Overly said the company is also innovating "as fast as we can" to capitalize on food trends with new products, starting with its line of "sour raisin snacks."

"Let's start competing and bringing relevant products for millennials to choose from."

For full interview click here.