Humbly Served and Successful – RXBAR Co-Founder Peter Rahal tells the story

In this interview Peter Rahal, co-founder of RXBAR tells us how the nutrition bar was conceived (in his kitchen, of course) and how it made its swift four-year ascent to becoming a brand so talked-about and appealing that Kellogg could not resist buying it for a whopping $600 million in 2017.

This brand creation story seems seductively simple:  A single-minded focus on a specific product offering missing in the market. A simple package and communication – a few ingredients on the front of the label and “no BS” (that is, no “Bad Stuff”).  A disciplined targeting- and distribution strategy – with focus on a receptive early adopter community and distributors, at first, followed by a logic roll-out. A personal- and company set of values centering around listening, working hard, succeeding but staying humble; Foregoing claims about honest ingredients, sourcing integrity, feeding the hungry or another higher purpose which ‘feel disingenuous’ even when the company does participate in food donations.

In fact, it might be this ‘straight-forwardness’ that delivers differentiation and the key to success in what can feel like an increasingly complex and convoluted ‘new food world’. – Organic, non-GMO, ‘sustainably’ grown and fair-traded camu-camu, anyone?

Things might get a bit more complex, nevertheless, now that RXBAR has joined the Kellogg Company house of brands neighborhood.  Not the one to lounge around a pool just living off his fortune, Peter has decided to stay on as CEO of the new subsidiary, which provides important continuity¹.  But can the ‘humble straight forwardness’ be kept alive and be scaled across the globe and other food categories at a fast pace, as intended.  — Listen in and tell us what you think.




For more insights into what drives the success of brands like RXBAR and many more read our book “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueberbrands” about the Ueber-Branding model and method of application and other posts on this blog-cast.

If you want us to help you elevate your own brand, then write to us at

Here is a link to the RXBAR website and an article on the acquisition by Kellogg Company in 2017.

¹ Here is a post based on our book in which we describe the strategy of ‘Ring-Fencing’ which can help small brands stay nimble and successful – even after they get acquired by big, scale-driven groups.

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Peter Rahal_RXBAR_in warehouse




About JP Kuehlwein

JP Kuehlwein is a global business leader and brand builder with a 25+ year track record of translating consumer and brand insights into transformational propositions that win in market. Principal at ‘Ueber-Brands’ a New York consulting firm, he now helps others to elevate brands and make them peerless and priceless. JP also teaches brand strategy at NYU Stern and Columbia Business School and leads the Marketing Institute at The Conference Board, all in New York. Jp previously was Executive Vice President at Frédéric Fekkai & Co, a prestige salon operator and hair care brand and lead brand- and corporate strategy development and execution at multinational Procter & Gamble as Brand Director and Director of Strategy. JP and Wolf Schaefer have co-authored the best-selling books “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueber-Brands” which lays out what drives the success of modern premium brands and "Brand Elevation - Lessons in Ueber-Branding" a guide to developing and executing a brand elevation strategy. Find the books here:
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