Every once in a while NBN needs to hold back on a story and read it a few days later because it’s so god damn gushy that any newcomer to the site might wonder if my cousin owns the company or I’m trying to bed the brand manager.
Early innovator sells brand to Kraft. Kraft sells back to early innovator. Brand grows and grows and contrary to conventional wisdom that all good things (and brands, too) eventually sour and come to an end, Nature’s Path proves this ain’t necessarily so. See number 8 in our Industry Top Fifty List for more on company CEO and founder Arran Stephens.
Conventional manufacturers distort the real meaning of ‘whole grain’ and organic brands make products about as exciting as your grandmother’s choice of denture cleaners. Yet the all-organic Nature’s Path continues to make exciting products across a wide range of categories—cold cereal, hot cereal, frozen waffles, energy bars, and more recently with that old school standard, granola bars-with continued success.
The innovations include the Optimum line-up, Eco-pacs, kids cereals and dynamic product formulations (hemp, blueberries, red berries),cause-related marketing, and even buying farmland in the Midwest to keep organic grains in steady supply. Yes it’s true that Nature’s Path cookies and crackers were failures but the company continues to introduce interesting new products with such regularity it makes one wonder if someone put Ambien in their competition’s water coolers.
As someone who started stocking bulk bins at a little owner run shop in the 1980’s its hard to get excited about granola bars but hey I’m excited, very excited.