Kind snack bar

Healthy-snack company Kind plans to spend "tens of millions of dollars more" to market its products throughout the year, founder and Chairman Daniel Lubetzky told Business Insider. The company, whose snack bars are sold at grocery and convenience stores across the U.S., doesn’t currently advertise on broadcast radio. But the medium reaches its target consumers at key moments when they’re ready to grab a nutritious bar on the go, says Tammy Greenberg, who heads up Business Development efforts at the Radio Advertising Bureau.“ Radio has the ability to touch the consumer throughout their day, whenever they’re hungry for a healthy snack,” Greenberg says.

Kind is estimated to have spent $17.5 million on advertising between January and September 2019, according to Kantar. Now the company, which is valued at $4 billion, is launching its biggest expansion to date, Business Insider says, expanding into frozen bars, refrigerated nut-butter bars and snacking chocolate clusters often called bark. It’s also rolling out grain-free versions of its clusters products.

Apart from dangling "tens of millions of dollars more,” Lubetzky wouldn't give specifics on the company’s marketing plans. But Kind’s expansion comes as the RAB sees the snack products market as an “opportunity category” for radio.

“The reason why they should be using radio for whatever products they’re promoting is because their target consumers are truly present and engaged with audio and more specifically radio,” Greenberg says. According to Nielsen Scarborough data, radio reaches 90% of households that used energy or nutrition bars in the past seven days. “We’re reaching their audience but, more importantly, their audience is truly present and engaged with radio.”

Radio’s proximity to the point of purchase is why convenience and grocery stores are big users of the medium. “Messaging is most receptive when it is most relevant to consumers, and radio aligns with the prime shopping hours of 6a-6p,” notes Katz Radio Group President Christine Travaglini. “Radio is also the No. 1 medium to reach working consumers with midday in-office and lunch hour listening, when consumers would be most receptive to Kind messaging.”

When approaching the marketing team at a brand that isn’t using radio, Greenberg says she starts by describing why radio is a “go-to medium” for consumers and how it fulfills multiple needs for audiences. “It’s personal, it’s the original social media that engages on a really deep level with consumers, while drawing them in through the power of storytelling,” she explains. “It’s live and local and hands on. It has ability to bring listeners together with the brands that they love.” But that pitch is only a door opener. From there, Greenberg says she becomes a listener, collecting info about the brand’s audience and needs, before digging deeper into insights from broadcasters that can help the brand’s marketing team define its radio strategy.

That could include contextual sponsorships, branded content or even doling out Kind’s double dark chocolate nut protein bars to radio personalities, who could try them out and organically talk about them on their show and on their socials. Radio DJs often work unique hours and are always on-the-go, Travaglini says. “Kind is a perfect product for DJ endorsements and social media extensions.” Underscoring their influence with listeners, Travaglini says 77% of listeners say they would try a brand recommended by a favorite radio personality.

Privately held Kind was founded in 2004 with a focus on wholesome ingredients and a do-good social agenda. Since then it has grown into the fourth-largest U.S. snack manufacturer by positioning its nut bars as a healthier alternative to traditional granola or energy bars, CNBC says. Last year the company captured 10.4% of the market share for snack bars, according to Euromonitor.

The U.S. snack bar market is forecast to reach $8.8 billion in sales by 2023. The RAB is hoping it joins other categories, such as the beauty and larger consumer packaged goods industries, in experiencing an audio reawakening. “As consumer adoption of audio continues to grow, what you’re starting to see more of is brands looking at new ways to reach their consumers. And audio is the channel they’re rediscovering.”