There is a lot to admire about Kashi, both the company and the individual products.
I was in the grocery store recently, and was impressed to see that Kashi is starting to have some real shelf impact. The cereal variety has expanded and I saw their pilaf in the rice section for the first time. And their products taste good, too.
That’s not unique, of course. Many companies can make the same claim. What is brilliant is the clarity and consistency of their positioning and message: “7 Whole Grains on a Mission”. In a world when companies want to be all things to all people, and wordsmith their messages to death, Kashi is refreshing by comparison.
Their packaging is attractive and clean, but far from generic. They are obviously focused on healthy eating, but not as lecturers and finger-waggers. Instead, they reflect health infused with fun. The website is simple, easy to navigate, focused on people, community and environment. The tone of voice is modern, straightforward, human, young. They are quite transparent in terms of ingredients and nutritional analysis. So it’s a nice balance of style and substance.
Here’s where the going may get tough, though. How successful can–or should–Kashi become? How many product extensions are in the works? Here is the boilerplate that they use in their press releases:
As a pioneering health food brand, Kashi is dedicated to providing great
tasting, healthy and innovative foods that enable people to achieve optimal health and
wellness. Its products are natural, minimally processed, and free of highly refined sugars,
artificial additives and preservatives.
So far, so good. Yet, they are moving into frozen foods, like pizza, which may be pushing the envelope a bit when it comes to the ingredient list.
But compared to what else I see in the supermarket these days, Kashi has a big leg up. They are more expensive than the usual highly processed, sugary cereals that dominate, so it will be interesting to see if their message outweighs the current trend to pinch pennies. My bet is that Kashi will continue to grow. My hope is that they don’t grow too much.