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The RXBar Protein Bar Is Disrupting the Nutrition Market

Supplemental nutrition bars have saturated the health foods market, each one claiming to be healthier than the next. But these supposedly healthy snacks actually contain processed ingredients and chemicals that simply aren’t as healthy as they claim. Consuming these snacks would be damaging to a person’s diet and fitness. If you look at the back of each package, it’s unlikely that you’re familiar with every ingredient listed (and a lot of these ingredients are difficult to pronounce). That’s why when the RXBar protein bar entered the market in 2013, it quickly upended the health food industry for its transparent, no-frills approach.

Infographics - The RXBar Protein Bar Is Disrupting the Nutrition Market

How bold of a business is RXBar? In late 2017, Kellogg Co. acquired RXBar for $600 million.

That’s a sure sign of boldness right there.

The RXBar Protein Bar Formula

Peter Rahal and Jared Smith, CEO and RXBar co-founders, were long-time health enthusiasts and nutrition bar consumers themselves. They began questioning why there were no raw food protein bars that were thoroughly honest and healthy. They tried making their own raw food protein bars using only whole foods, and without additives, fillers, and preservatives. In the end, they made very straightforward products with minimal ingredients, and no pretensions and lofty claims.

They started out from Rahal’s parents’ basement, which served as RXBar’s first makeshift kitchen. Even without investors, and with amateur labels, they began selling RXBar protein bars to the River North CrossFit gym near their house. This soon became their first customer.

After its first year in business in 2014, the company earned $2 million in sales. Then, in 2015, it redesigned and streamlined its packaging to the one everyone knows today.

Every RXBar protein bar is very upfront about what goes into every package: three egg whites, two dates, and six almonds. Sometimes even with a few cashews or peanuts. When industry experts thought the packaging was nondescript and had no appetite appeal, they stuck to their guns for authenticity’s sake.

And this type of product packaging was that X-factor that drew in millennial fitness enthusiasts—its biggest consumer. Its customers admire its distinctly honest articulation and its bare-faced design.

The humble RXBar protein bar has also diversified to 11 different flavors, almond butter, and a children’s line. Each one bears the brand’s signature simple, honest, and recognizable packaging.

Uncompromising Brand Voice in the Nutrition Bar Market

The most admirable aspect of RXBar is its simple brand voice. The co-founders are advocates for easy, clear, and uncomplicated products in a world populated by brands with inaccurately marketed products. This attitude permeates its operations, product development, and marketing. It has created a unified brand voice that is real, honest, clever, and practical. With this attitude, they have created an exceptional raw food protein bar made only with healthy, whole foods. This is quite unlike the many competitors that have come before them.

Peter Rahal describes as one of the more popular raw protein nutrition bars, RXBar has carved at a decent slice of the market.
While many nutrition bars are complex in design, RXBar went the other direction – and their simple ingredients have resonated with consumers.

Since 2013, the company workforce has exploded to over 70 employees. Its products are also readily available at Target, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, and through its website. With an increased circulation across the country and a strong online presence, it has become one of the standout choices in the nutrition bar market.

International food manufacturer Kellogg’s took notice of the RXBar protein bar and its unique take on healthy snacks. The food giant then bought RXBar for $600 million in 2017. RXBar contributed $59 million in sales to Kellogg’s during the second quarter of 2018, and a total of $110 million during the first half of the year.

Kellogg's saw the potential in RXBar's growth and appeal.
In a crowded nutrition bar market, RXBar’s branding and its concept have risen above – and Kellogg’s took notice.

This year, the brand amplified its quirky voice by featuring rapper and actor Ice-T in their ad campaigns. With minimal effort and Ice-T’s deadpan delivery and humor, RXBar showed that it cuts through the nonsense of advertising. The RXBar protein bar really is a distinct and valuable product in the market, a brilliant star among Kellogg’s diverse product portfolio.

Back-to-Basics Bestseller For Raw Food Protein Bars

There are a few brands out in the market that are as simple, honest, and straight-to-the-point as RXBar. The raw food protein bar has also proven itself to be one of the best nutrition bars around, and consumers continue to support the business because it is authentic. Customers are drawn to RXBar as it gives them one less thing to worry about in their fitness journey.

Peter Rahal describing how Kellogg's saw RXBar's potential as a nutrition option for Millennials in the nutrition bar market
RXBar’s growth has been grounded in its no-nonsense simplicity, and their relationship with Kellogg’s won’t affect that.

And with just a few years in the market, RXBar has set the trend and influenced and redefined customer behavior toward healthier foods.

Nutrition Bar Market Infographic

NBCUniversal: Surviving and Thriving in an Evolving Industry

Nearly 33 million Americans have “cut the cord” from their cable subscribers. Opportunities for streaming entertainment content are imposing tremendous pressures on traditional broadcast television gurus. NBCUniversal is among those feeling the pinch. But NBCUniversal television is not without hope. Armed with massive amounts of programming content, the chance to remain competitive is alive and well. The question is which strategies are likely to be effective and which ones won’t.

Streaming platforms are the future - and it's a future NBCUniversal Television embraces.
When posed with the choice between adapting or dying, NBCUniversal chose to adapt.

NBCUniversal Through the Years

NBCUniversal operates four divisions and 13 subsidiaries, but that was not always the case. As one of the original major television broadcasters, NBC had its beginning in the 1950s. But over the course of time, a need for expansion and diversification evolved. Ultimately, this led to several collaborations with Universal Television in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2004, the two officially merged as NBCUniversal.

Advances in technology, like satellite and broadband, led to the formation of NBCUniversal. But today, technology disruptors are much more profound.

Amidst the cost and confusion associated with cable television packages, many Americans are cutting the cord and turning to streaming. As a result, NBCUniversal Television audiences, and cable subscribers have declined. Facing fierce competition and a tornado of change, NBCUniversal is striving to find its way in a very dynamic industry.

NBCUniversal Television has been playing the streaming TV game - and playing it well.
Digital streaming platforms have changed the nature of TV, but NBCUniversal has changed along with it.

Turbulent Times in the Entertainment Industry

For NBCUniversal, its role in the broadcast television industry is a fairly traditional one offering content through cable networks. But the industry is rapidly changing. Netflix now dominates the entertainment market with nearly 40 percent of consumers citing Netflix as having the best original programming. In fact, Netflix will spend roughly $8 billion on original content by year’s end. That’s impressive and not an area where NBCUniversal Television has been able to compete. NBCUniversal Television’s $75 million effort in this arena, Seeso, failed miserably.

The bigger issue for NBCUniversal, however, is Netflix’s new model of business. Unlike NBCUniversal Television’s approach, Netflix sells directly to consumers. Why is this important? Because that means easy access to consumer data. Unlike NBCUniversal, Netflix knows the content its audience likes, when they want to view it, and how they access it. As a result, the competition for NBCUniversal in knowing audiences and gaining their attention is tremendous. NBCUniversal must not only adapt to consumer trends, but they have to change their analytical processes as well.

Disruptive technology has shifted power from broadcast TV, but NBCUniversal has embraced the disruption.
Digital streaming platforms have shaken up broadcast TV, but NBCUniversal has adapted.

Shifting Strategies and Leveraging Assets

In 2013, NBCUniversal was acquired by Comcast, the telecommunications giant that is guided by Bold Leader Brian L. Roberts. Since that time, Comcast has made moves to shift NBCUniversal Television strategies. Comcast’s initial attempts were to acquire 21st Century Fox entertainment content. However, this attempt failed as Disney made the deal with 21st Century Fox instead.

More recently, Comcast purchased Sky, the over-the-top streaming video service based in the UK. Presumably, the addition of Sky to the NBCUniversal portfolio will enable Comcast to better compete with Netflix in this area.

In regard to NBCUniversal, different strategies are also being pursued. Recently, NBCUniversal introduced “Watch Back”, a rewards marketing program to attract and retain customers. Likewise, NBCUniversal is restricting its advertising campaigns. Instead of multiple commercial interruptions, NBCUniversal television will reduce breaks by 20 percent and ad time by 10 percent. These approaches hope to allow NBCUniversal television to better compete with the minimal interruptions on streaming alternatives. Finally, NBCUniversal Television’s content will likely be leveraged across all of Comcast’s domains. This remains NBCUniversal’s most valuable asset.

As per NBCUniversal, if you can't beat digital streaming platforms, you might as well join them.
Digital streaming platforms have radically changed TV, but instead of withering on the vine, NBCUniversal has accepted this new paradigm and grown.

The Future of Entertainment for NBCUniversal

Presently, Comcast continues to generate about $90 billion in revenues each quarter, with broadband Internet services being its anchor. But eventually, this won’t be enough to sustain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Based on recent moves, Comcast seems to appreciate the challenges ahead for NBCUniversal specifically, and its entertainment brands generally. Just like antenna-based television, cable TV may eventually fade away. But through creative acquisitions, leveraging of assets, and shifts in services, Comcast looks to be adapting.

And what’s good for Comcast will certainly be good for NBCUniversal in the process.

Digital streaming has upended the broadcast industry, but NBCUniversal Television has changed with it.
If broadcast content is king, NBCUniversal Television has royalty aplenty.

Bendix Wingman Fusion Collision Mitigation System: Helping Solve School Bus Safety Concerns

More than half of America’s school children – or twenty-six million of them – take the school bus every day.  School bus drivers are in charge of safely and efficiently transporting our children from our homes to their school. The current traffic condition and road challenges pose difficulties for school bus drivers. Additionally, they have to keep an eye on all the kids on board. With school bus safety issues at the forefront of protecting our children, school bus drivers need all the assistance they can get. Through the partnership of two industry leadersIC Bus, a Navistar Subsidiary, and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, the Bendix Wingman Fusion Collision Mitigation System may be the perfect wingman for our dependable school bus drivers.

bendix wingman fusion technology on following distance alerts
Bendix Wingman Fusion can keep 26 million school children safe.

Bendix Wingman Fusion Collision Mitigation System: Technology for Making Safe Travel Even Safer

One of the “safest modes of transportation” is the school bus. According to the American School Bus Council, youth fatalities during school travel hours for a school bus is less than 1%. This is 70 times safer compared to an adult driving the vehicle (with the youth fatality rate at 23%).

Designs of buses come with safety features such as flashing red lights, stop sign arms and cross-view mirrors. Seats have high backrests and thick pads for added safety features. The school bus industry has a brighter future for school bus safety with the new IC Bus CE Series. It is equipped with Bendix Wingman Fusion Collision Mitigation System.

school bus safety issues, trish reed qoute
Vice President and General Manager of IC Bus, Trish Reed, puts safety on top of their priority.

Trish Reed, Vice President and General Manager of IC Bus shares, “When we made this electronic stability control and collision mitigation standard on all of our school buses, it’s something that we thought carefully about. But we knew at the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do for our customers and the industry.”

IC Bus and Bendix Partnership Addressing School Bus Safety Issues

The Bendix Wingman Fusion is a flagship driver assistance system by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC. This collision mitigation system integrates the power of radar, a forward-facing camera, and the vehicle’s brake system into a comprehensive driver assistance platform. Bendix Commercial Vehicle System LLC is the country’s frontrunner in active vehicle safety and braking technologies. Forging a partnership with Bendix, IC Bus created and developed a line of school bus models that aim to tackle school bus safety issues.

Bendix wingman fusion, bendix vice president scott burkhart
Scott Burkhart, Bendix VP, on advanced safety technologies.

Innovative, powerful and effective, IC Bus is the only school bus that uses the passive alert system. It also utilizes an active vehicle intervention through automatic system braking. Bendix Wingman Fusion Collision Mitigation’s accurate assessment of road conditions ahead aims to help avert various vehicle crash scenarios. It includes rear-end collisions, side-swept collisions or roll-over and loss of control scenarios.

Looking Into the Technology behind the Bendix Wingman Fusion Collision Mitigation System

Technology alone cannot address school bus safety issues. The skills and experience of school bus drivers are still of paramount importance. However, the added intelligence and intervention of the Bendix Wingman Fusion system will help keep school bus drivers be in control. This also includes varying driving factors and road conditions.

With a Driver Interface Unit (DIU) mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard, the Bendix Wingman Fusion uses sound alerts and visual warnings to alert the driver. The Radar, located at the front part of the school bus, senses when the vehicle in front is within a dangerous distance. The alerts will advise the school bus driver to intervene by either slowing down or stepping on the brakes. If the driver fails to respond, Bendix Wingman Fusion will actively intervene by applying the brakes. By utilizing de-throttle, engine retard and foundation breaks, this adaptive cruise control, and braking system help drivers follow safer distance between the bus and the vehicle in front.

Bendix wingman fusion, bendix director for marketing fred andersky quote
Fred Andersky (Bendix Director of Marketing) on Collision Mitigation Systems.

The system also employs a stationary object alert through the help of the forward-facing Camera and radar. If the vehicle is cruising above 10mph, the system gives up to a 3-second warning. It will give the driver the leeway to slow down or maneuver the vehicle away.

Accordingly, if the vehicle runs at more than 15mph, Bendix Wingman Fusion intervenes by applying the brakes. The camera is also designed to read road speed limit signs and road lane designations. The driver is notified when the vehicle exceeds the speed limit and departs from its designated lane.

Leaders, policymakers and companies must share the accountability of School Bus Safety Issues and ensuring the safety of kids. Making the collision mitigation technology a standard feature of school buses, IC bus is taking significant steps in equipping our school buses.