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February 28, 2024
min read

Kodiak Cakes targets health-conscious consumers with wholesome snack sampling

For Kodiak Cakes, motivating people to live epic days and wilder lives is what inspires them to make the good stuff. The wholesome stuff. The protein-packed stuff. And they wanted Recess to help get their latest 100% whole grain bars out to people craving adventure and the right snacks to light their daily fires.

We were up for the challenge and delivered unbearably excellent results through a multi-event omnichannel product sampling strategy that got their Kodiak bars in front of tens of thousands of target consumers. Not only did they get treated to delicious, healthful Kodiak Cakes product samples, they were also thrilled to see a better, bolder option for their snacking habits.

Shoppers try Kodiak Cake bars at the brand activations near sportswear stores

Our omnichannel product sampling strategy Kodi-hacks that would win customers

Knowing your target audience is crucial when you’re introducing a new product to market but that’s not all you need to know. You have to also know what they like doing, where they tend to be, how they shop, and when they are most receptive to your marketing.

Recess has been able to help so many CPG brands pinpoint these details and run successful, memorable campaigns for brand awareness, driving more retail sales, and much more. We worked with Kodiak Cakes on a multi-pronged approach to achieving their goals with Kodiak bars, knowing that data-driven and omnichannel efforts would make the biggest impact.

First, we identified their ideal customer profiles. These could be segmented in several ways, and we decided together that each would require slightly different experiences. Then we located where these potential customers would most likely be and, using our geo-targeting capabilities, who their closest retailers would be after sampling events. Our partner network helped us execute the rest - a stress-campaign for Kodiak Cakes.

Here were three effective ways we made sure target audiences could experience Kodiak Cakes:

Youth sports players and parents get a kick out of Kodiak bars

Youth sports teams enjoy Kodiak Cakes samples after their games

Five prominent youth sports locations were the sites of untamed flavor and quick fuel via the wholesome Kodiak bar samples handed out to kids and parents. Thousands of these protein-packed snacks were distributed with promotional cards to happy young athletes who were extremely excited to get treats before and after their games.

The parents were quite enthusiastic too as many already recognized Kodiak Cakes from purchasing the company’s pancake mix products at various retailers. Their positive existing sentiment for the brand made it easier for the bars to become another option for them to consider when shopping for their household.

Hot Chocolate Run racers in Nashville take Kodiak samples for a run

Races of all ages and levels get samples of Kodiak bars

Knowing that a large segment of Kodiak Cakes’ target audience were health-conscious consumers, it only seemed appropriate to pick a partner and an event that would put them in front of some of the most adventurous. We found that in the popular Hot Chocolate Run in Nashville where runners of all levels come out for a fun run.

More than 5,000 samples were handed out with promotional cards to runners who really enjoyed such a tasty, healthful snack at the finish line. Many asked if they could expect the bars at future races, so we knew they were a hit. And for those who were unable to make it to the race, Kodiak Cakes’ reach was amplified through digital marketing tactics - social posts went out to nearly half a million followers along with more than 10,000 email list members. This was a group of enthusiasts we couldn’t bear to miss.

Kodiak Cakes product samples add a dash of delight to races everywhere

Kodiak cake samples are a huge hit at races and sporting events

Supporting this brand in their journey championing happy, healthy lifestyles meant partnering with more runs. We were able to place sampling experiences in seven locations where we handed out more than 37,000 samples with promotional cards to runners and walkers of all types. These were followed up with social media posts boosted by partners like Ragnar.

For some racers, they hadn’t heard of the brand before but once they took a bite of their sample, purchase intent went up significantly. It really drove home what we’ve consistently seen - sampling helps consumers make purchase decisions on the spot. That’s why an omnichannel product sampling strategy is so powerful for CPG brands.

A bonus was that our previous geo-targeting planning identified retailers nearby where these new customers could buy Kodiak bars after the runs, which we, of course, encouraged them to visit. 

Want to make your product sampling strategy epic?

Recess can help. With more than 15,000 opportunities for sampling which you can filter by consumer demographic, customer behavior, location, proximity to retailer, Recess can support your unique brand activation and sampling event execution in turnkey, measurable, and scalable ways. Talk to a Recess expert to learn more.

Minerva Thai
Minerva Thai
Writer at Recess

Translates super neat CPG brand experiences and strategies into words. Wants you to say hi to a dog for her.