January 14, 2020

By Claudine Waite


At the 2020 Brand Masters Conference, presented by Twitter, RXBAR CMO Victor Lee will share the company’s transformational journey from basement startup to the board room.

I had the chance to catch up with Victor to get his thoughts on key drivers to the brand’s success, its no B.S philosophy, and whether the Kellogg’s acquisition changed the culture of the brand.


Q. Innovation is one of the key drivers of success. How is RXBAR breaking through marketing clutter or through product innovation to drive growth?

The company was founded on a simple idea that healthy snacks can be attainable, made well with clean and simple ingredients, and taste good. Innovation can mean a lot of things or nothing depending on how a company uses it. For us at RXBAR, we focused on solving a consumer need first, even if the consumer didn't know they needed our solution. We entered the protein bar category at a time of massive growth and saturation, despite a crowded category with massive players, we knew we had a strong product grounded on how we make it and the ingredients we used, combined later with a clean label, it gave us the innovation we wanted to differentiate ourselves. We aren't shy about entering crowded or dormant categories. We launched our RX nut butters at a time when that category was stagnant. Our recent RX a.m. oats launch is in a category that is more than 100 years old. The common thread to our launches has and always be to provide a solution within a quality and standard that we strictly adhere to. Quality, simple, clean and real. Just turn our package over and read our ingredients, we have nothing to hide.


Q. What are some of the key differentiators between RXBAR and its competitors?

We don't make direct comparisons to our competitors. We remain relentlessly focused on the people that use our products. We solve for their needs. We remain constant and stand behind our products as a clean and simple snack. Our no B.S. culture is purposeful and not just a tagline. You'll see on our package that we list egg whites, dates and nuts. That's constant on every RXBAR because those core ingredients are the central point of all our product. So, the natural question a consumer who is skeptical should be, what else is in it? If they flipped it over and read the ingredients statement, they will see that none of our bars have more than 10 ingredients and some only have five. In fact, all our ingredients are items you can find on a store shelf or at home in your pantry. That is what we mean by no B.S. and what we feel consumers gravitate toward, and that our product tastes great and has 12 grams of protein.


Q. How has RXBAR maintained its startup mentality even with the Kellogg’s acquisition?

Since the Kellogg's acquisition, the relationship has been nothing but a mutually beneficially one. Most people don't know that our company has been around for less than 10 years — that's still a startup for most. What we value in the relationship we have with Kellogg’s is their vision to see hurdles that we may not be able to see, given their experience and history. That significantly reduces our inefficiencies as well as our trial with errors. Their ability to provide valuable perspective to us early in any process prevents a long term slow down which we may not have avoided without their help. In return, our foundation as a digitally native brand has provided valuable insights for them as well.


Q. Which RXBAR product is your personal favorite and why?

With 17 flavors of RXBAR, six RX nut butter flavors and three RX a.m. oats flavors, you're asking for the impossible to pick just one. For me, it's really based on the occasion. Blueberry is great for the mornings, even better if you have a cup of our oats with a packet of our nut butter mixed in and then cut up pieces of a bar. That's close to 30 grams of protein in one sitting, that's my go to pre- or post-morning-workouts. I'm very partial to one of our new flavors we launched this year, lemon. That's a great mid-afternoon pick me up. But no one can go wrong with chocolate sea salt, which is our most popular flavor.

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