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  KIND Snacks
KIND Snacks
digital altruism
by Sheila Shayon
July 16, 2010

Brandchannel’s weekly Digital Watch feature takes a deeper look at brands’ digital strategy. Our latest case study, Kind Snacks, shows how the healthy snack bar brand has crafted a cause marketing campaign that combines social media, moxie, and random acts of pay-it-forward kindness between strangers.

OVERVIEW: KIND is the brainchild of social entrepreneur Daniel Lubetzky whose personal journey began in 1994 when he founded PeaceWorks Foods, a “not-only-for-profit” company to foster economic cooperation among people in conflict regions worldwide. After several award-winning healthy food creations, Lubetzky was still in pursuit of “that elusive snack that was wholesome and convenient, tasty and healthy at the same time.”>p> In 2003 he and his team launched the KIND product line which encompasses two core principles: the power of AND, and holistic kindness. The Power of AND is about creating new paths and avoiding false compromises and fostering a mind-set of “And,” rather than “Or.”

Holistic Kindness defines all the natural ingredients – wholesome nuts and fruits - that go into KIND products and extends to the KIND Movement, which encourages not so random KINDINGS – manifested as unexpected acts of kindness to others. Today, KIND Healthy Snacks peddles bars and altruism with the slogan, “Be Kind to your body, your taste buds and the world.”

KIND Snacks WEBSITE: is divided into three categories:

1) GET KIND - is about their products, gift and corporate packs, online catalog, wholesale and store locator.

2) ABOUT KIND – chronicles the history, team, fans, press releases, news, FAQ’s, careers and contact information.

3) BE KIND – articulates the KIND mission/movement and the 2008 launch of an online platform that maps, tracks, and inspires the ‘not so random’ acts of KINDINGS via coded ‘KIND’ cards.

A microsite called charts the acts of kindness happening worldwide and lets a user start a chain.

SOCIAL MEDIA: KIND Healthy Snacks is leveraging every means possible to “use business forces and market forces as glues to bring people together.”

Their current campaign sports the theme “Do the Kind Thing,” and they are donating $100,000 in stages to worthy organizations. A first round of $40,000, announced this week, will be split between three causes.

Participants are encouraged to go on Kind's Facebook page and “Share KIND acts for the chance to win KIND bars and other cool giveaways,” and to tweet @kindsnacks on Twitter.

The “cause-driven” campaign encourages consumers to perform deliberate acts of kindness which are tracked through KIND cards. “Kind Movement” users link their cards to charitable organizations or other “redeeming” causes, perform an act of kindness, then pass the card and code to that person.

Points are accrued along the pay-it-forward journey, and causes with the most points become winners and receive donations. More information is available at,, and the Kind Facebook page.

“We’re connecting human beings through the power of acts of unexpected kindness. Surprise people, and the karma will come back. How powerful it is to surprise a total stranger with a really nice act: buy them a cup of coffee, pay their toll,” comments Lubetzky. “It makes their day; it makes your day,” he told the New York Times.

With about 200 companies competing in the healthy snack vertical, cause marketing via social media is a valuable tool of distinction. Lubetzky believes “socially conscious brands engender more loyalty, but first and foremost, you have to stand on your merits. The reason people buy KIND bars is that they’re delicious and they’re healthful. If the product doesn’t taste good, isn’t the right price or doesn’t fit their lifestyle choice, even if it’s made by Mother Teresa it’s not going to work out.”

KIND donates 5% of profits from sales to its PeaceWorks Foundation. Projections are for $70 million in retail sales this year. Green Team, KIND’s New York agency, and San Francisco-based Allison & Partners used retail displays in Food Emporium, Pathmark, Shaw’s, Waldbaum’s and Wegmans, plus sampling in eight cities - Austin, Tex.; Boston; Chicago; Los Angeles; New York; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; and a public relations campaign, social media and newsletters. The team gave away KIND cards at public events.

Jimmie Stone, partner and creative director at Green Team, considers Kind “a mission brand” with a goal of “changing the way snacking is done.” “It’s a very passionate group,” says Stone, “so the whole idea of encouraging trial and the grass roots was the way to go. The challenge is how to integrate being a mission brand and also selling bars.”

Lubetzky was recognized by TIME Magazine in 2009 as one of “25 Responsibility Pioneers” and named by BusinessWeek as one of “America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs.” As he says, “The concept of extolling people to be better citizens, it’s something we don’t do enough." That's why he believes “The KIND card acts as a license to be nice to people.” And that core value is threaded through the brand's online and digital footprint.

*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
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