Walking down the granola/snack bar aisle of your local grocery store can be one of the most overwhelming parts of your shopping trip. A thousand brands with a thousand varieties touting a thousand different benefits when all you want is something to bite into. But one brand has managed to carve itself out a special place in that aisle and has an ever expanding influence over the food world.
When Daniel Lubetzky launched KIND in 2004, his bars were a unique market entrant. Made from whole nuts and grains, KIND appealed to the masses with a “if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it” mentality and were on the forefront of a growing health movement that is gaining more marketshare each day.
It’s nice to remove artificial ingredients, but we never had to. We’ve used real ingredients, whole nuts, and natural flavors from the very beginning.
KIND turned a profit quickly from it’s inception largely due to its accessible message and product. Granola/snack bars have long been an easy, on-the-go option, and KIND was able to offer something different than the high fructose corn syrup bars that live in the bottoms of backpacks. These are bars for adults who care about their bodies. They’re active and need fuel. They’re non-GMO and pro-social activism. KIND saw this growing appeal and pounced. Since their inception, they’re grown from 8 bar varieties to 22 different types of snacks, with more still in development.
That’s a no-brainer; offering more product varieties and staying on top of health trends is a great way to appeal to your customer and keep them interested at shelf. They’ve been very smart in their branding and used it to ingrain KIND in people lives. Their colors are bright and friendly. Their packaging is hip. Their new products continue to hit consumer demands (here’s looking at you, savory Strong bars *swoon*). KIND smartly uses their social media as a way to promote their mission to their customers in identifiable ways and peppers their instagram with quotes that align with the brand message, complete with on-brand colors.
By positioning themselves as healthy and transparent–literally, their packaging is transparent–their customers see what they’re getting and know exactly what’s going into their bodies. It’s a great launching off point, and the freebies often found in goody bags for various causes and events certainly don’t hurt.
But to gain loyalty, KIND went beyond the shelf to to share their mission and launched the KIND Movement in 2008. What’s the movement about? Being kind and volunteering for causes you care about. They also launched the #kindaweseome campaign which encourages sending a note and KIND bar to reward a person for a good deed, which is conveniently accessible on their website. Separately, they launched the KIND Foundation and its KIND Causes initiative, which supplies $10,000 grants to socially impactful ideas. The branding opportunities are literally slapping you in the face with endless possibility.
Just last week, CEO Daniel Lubetzky announced he was pledging $25 million dollar to launch Feed the Truth, an initiative that aims to make nutrition information more transparent and accessible to consumers. Though not explicitly linked to KIND, the mission conveniently aligns with the snack company’s mission and will no doubt gain attention from those using his company’s products. Lubetzky also released a book titled Do the Kind Thing in 2015 and 100% of proceeds will be donated to continue kind acts.
I’m willing to wager that from it’s inception, Lubetzky had his brand’s map in mind and he continued to push it’s borders in the 10+ years of the company’s existence. At this rate, KIND could be moving beyond the map and well into an empire.