Nebraska company expands into Lincoln and Omaha Whole Foods

GROW Nebraska® is excited to announce that Simply Sunflower a Nebraska product from Ord is now available in the Lincoln and Omaha Whole Foods stores. “This is part of our mission and seeing a Nebraska business develop new outlets for their product line is wonderful,” stated Lindsie Breazeale, the director of marketing and business development. GROW Nebraska® is thrilled to work with Whole Foods to get more local products into the Lincoln and Omaha stores. Also, involved in the project is Allissa Troyer Ag Promotions Coordinator for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. By working together, we can get more Nebraska food products into the global marketplace! Whole Foods Team will be attending the upcoming 2022 MarkeTech Conference to help guide and explain the process of getting products into the Whole Foods. We are hoping by giving Nebraska businesses a chance to meet buyers and learn more it will help more Nebraska businesses sell to grocery stores like Whole Foods, it is extremely exciting to be able to offer this opportunity stated Janell Anderson Ehrke, GROW Nebraska® CEO.

Why is Simply Sunflower a useful product to buy in Whole Foods? Here is their story Koelling Farm and Ranch has existed in Ord, Nebraska for over 120 years. As a fourth-generation farmer, Alan Koelling knows the value and prosperity that Nebraska farmland brings. To ensure the soil provided a successful harvest for years to come, Koelling set out to discover what he could add into his crop rotation. Through his exploration, Koelling discovered the increased benefits that sunflowers brought to soil nutrients, in turn producing an increasingly higher yield.

Initially Koelling would make biodiesel out of the sunflower oil to fuel the farm’s machinery, something they still due to this day. However, while harvesting the sunflower oil, Koelling found that there were hardly any all natural, U.S. made sunflower oils being offered to consumers. Koelling would be able to develop a healthier alternative cooking oil. Simply Sunflower contains 41% of vitamin E, is low in saturated fat, and is trans-fat free. A holy grail of health benefits in the cooking oil industry. Thus, Simply Sunflower was born.

A farmer by trade, Koelling has an engineer mind that went to work as he developed his new business. He designed the interior of the production plant from top to bottom, as well as the processes to extract the oil. Simply Sunflower initially partnered with a co-packer to package the oil, but later decided to package in-house so their product label would not need an allergen disclaimer. Koelling’s granddaughter is severely allergic to peanuts. Packaging in-house removed the risk of cross-contamination with other allergens making Simply Sunflower Oil a safe cooking oil for everyone to enjoy.

“It’s personally important to our family because my sister needs a safe cooking oil for my niece,” commented Sierra Forrest, Director of Marketing & Sales, and daughter to Koelling.

As friends became interested in what Koelling was creating, it inspired him to try offering a healthier alternative beyond his great community. He thought that this idea was something that could help others across the nation. This passion grew from six local grocers carrying the product to now being offered in over 350 stores across the nation. Most recently, Simply Sunflower has landed shelf space in Whole Foods across Nebraska.

“It was a lot of incredible grocery store managers that were willing to try out our products on their shelves and support a local Nebraska-ran business,” Forrest said.

Simply Sunflower can be found in a variety of stores across Nebraska and nationwide. The company offers their cooking oil in H-E-B store locations across Texas. This year, Simply Sunflower Oil will continue to see significant growth as they expand their presence on the west coast. The Koelling

family is hoping to not only share the beauty of the sunflower with Nebraskans, and now nationwide retailers, but they hope to bring sunshine into the homes of the consumers who use it offering a healthier oil alternative.

“The whole idea of Simply Sunflower is sharing sunshine. We love to do that not just with our fields, but we really want to share sunshine with our product and offer something that is extremely healthy, unrefined, and not hindered by chemicals or high heat.”

To learn more about the benefits of sunflower oil, or to see where you can purchase Simply Sunflower oil, visit:

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