Hearing consumers say they "gotta have it" is the dream of anyone launching a new product. Susan Spencer of "48 Hours" shows us a case where that dream came true:
In 2004, snack food innovator Daniel Lubetzky set a very high bar -- by creating a bar all his own.
So how would he describe a KIND bar? "It's a healthy snack bar made with whole nuts and fruits," he said.
And it's hit a sweet spot. KIND founder and CEO Lubetzky says sales have doubled every year for a decade -- a decade in which Americans gobbled up more than one billion of its bars.
"I had a gut feeling that this product was magical and delicious," he said. "But I didn't think that it would be what it became."
The Mexican-born son of a Holocaust survivor, Lubetzky started out by peddling his concoction door-to-door: "I would walk up and down the streets of New York and go store by store, and try to show our products and try to convince people that this was going to be a great product."
At first they thought he was, well, nutty.
Spencer asked, "How did you get around this feeling that people have that if it's good for you it probably is going to taste a lot like cardboard?"
"We still have that problem sometimes," Lubetzky laughed. "'I'm sorry, I don't eat that stuff, that looks too healthy'! But sometimes I just force-feed them till they're -- no, I'm just joking!"
In that quaint bygone era of actually sitting down to a meal, Americans didn't even know they needed things like KIND bars. But last year sales of energy bars in all shapes and brands topped $1.2 billion, up 50% from 2010.
"I think there's a major earthquake happening under our feet in terms of how people eat," said Lubetzky.
And KIND is the fastest-growing brand, bar none.
Spencer sampled a few flavors at the company's Bar Bar. Fruit and nut? "That's very straightforward. I like this."
She asked Lubetzky, "Does everybody here eat one of these for lunch?"
He quipped, "If not, tell us or we fire you right now!"
But in fact, Lubetzky just keeps on hiring. And whatever his next off-the-wall flavor -- such as the honey-smoked barbecue bar -- it can't possibly beat the sweet taste of success.
For more info:
- "Do the Kind Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately" by Daniel Lubetzky (Ballantine); Also available in eBook and Unabridged Audio Download formats
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