How The Olympics Helped Kashi Become Successful

When it's time for your morning meal, you may reach for a box of your favorite cereal, whether that's Frosted Flakes with milk, plain Cheerios, or a box from the Kashi brand. Nowadays, Kashi is a well-known name in the breakfast aisle and offers a variety of different products, including keto cereal and protein bars (via the official website). These are suited for anyone who may be constantly on-the-go, like a busy student or athlete. Even its protein waffles only take a moment to heat up in the toaster, making them a quick and easy snack.

However, when the company started out, its products didn't instantly gain a cult following. According to Mental Floss, Kashi needed something to grab the consumers' attention and boost its popularity when sales were low following its 1983 launch were low. It was only after the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles that the health and wellness company reached a turning point. But what were the reasons for Kashi's rocky start, and what was the turning point in the brand's popularity?

Marketing during the Olympics caused a shift in Kashi popularity

A lot of us don't even have the patience to wait the long, grueling few minutes for our instant Quaker Oats to cook, so you might be taken aback to learn that Kashi's first product, Kashi Pilaf, took over 25 minutes to prepare (via Mental Floss). The product was not catching much attention in the market when it was initially released, and the company needed to do something to turn its fate around.

This is where Olympics advertising came in. The company offered free samples of its products during the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics to attract both spectators and athletes to support the brand, which was built on the mission to "nourish people and planet with plant-powered passion" (via Kashi). The campaign worked, and Kashi found a dedicated following within their health food niche. The Kashi brand continues to use Olympic endorsements in its advertising to this day. For example, Marketing Dive reports that figure skater Tessa Virtue, a gold medalist, participated in the brand's #FullOfLife campaign on Instagram to promote healthy eating through Kashi's products.

The company's unchanging goal to provide high-quality, plant-based products to its customers continues to deliver to its fans, thanks in part to the 1984 Olympics.