Kodiak Cakes Net Worth [Updated 2022]

Kodiak Cakes is a typical example of a company that started from very humble beginnings to becoming a nationwide company valued at over $200 million.

The meteoric rise of Kodiak Cakes did not happen overnight and in this article, I will give you an insight into how exactly they achieved this fete.

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What is Kodiak Cakes?

Kodiak Cakes is a company that is in an overly saturated market of healthy foods. They are best known for the protein pancake mix.

Kodiak Cakes

Unlike the regular pancake mix, they have incorporated more protein, less sugar, fibers minerals, etc.

More than thirty years ago, an ambitious 8-year-old boy and his mom began their small business venture in a small town on Kodiak island but never expected it to become the success story it is today.

We’ve covered several companies that offer health-related products, including Optavia and Herbalife.

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How Kodiak cakes started

Kodiak Cakes started back in 1994 as a small pancake mix company based in Park City, Utah.

Joel Clark and Cameron Smith

The company is currently co-owned by Joel and Cameron who met each other while studying at the University of Utah.

Initially, before its commercial success, Kodiak Cakes was run by the Clark brothers. These were Jon Clark and Joel Clark (who were better known as the Clark Brothers).

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The Family Business

Their mother, Penny Clark would grind wheat in the basement because she would put emphasis on healthy eating and only wanted the best for her family of five.

Her whole wheat pancake mix was a favorite family recipe among family members and this sparked a business idea for the Clark brothers.

Since Joel Clark was young, he had cultivated an entrepreneurial mindset. He would go around his neighborhood to ask for jobs like mowing grass, shoving snow, and other odd jobs. He even began selling cars after attaining the age of 18.

As early as Clark was 8 years old, he began selling the pancake mix door to door around his neighborhood in Park City, Utah pushing his red wagon.

Humble Beginnings

The cake mix packaging was simple but functional. The instructions on how to use the pancake mix were handwritten on the brown paper bags.

The amazing thing about this whole wheat pancake mix was that it was easy to make and only required adding water to the mix. The little red wagon was somewhat iconic and Joel Clark is fond of talking about it any chance he gets. It is on the “About Page” of the Kodiak Cake website.

The nutritious product became an instant hit that was beloved by many customers. It would be purchased in gift shops around ski towns such as Sun Valley, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah.

This family business was originally started by the elder brother Jon Clark but he later sold the company to Joel Clark for just $1. Jon asked Joel to take over and he did.

Joel set up a home office in the basement from where he ran the company. He worked on the business part-time until one day, he decided to quit his day job to concentrate on Kodiak Cakes.

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Hiring Cameron Smith

Joel Clark, as the CEO of Kodiak Cakes, was overwhelmed with the demands that come with running a fast-growing business and thus opted to look for outside help.

Since Joel was pursuing a degree in Economics at the University of Utah, he put up an advert to recruit the perfect fit the company needed at that point.

Cameron Smith who was attending the same university applied for the vacant position and eventually got hired after acing his interview.

He then became a co-founder of Kodiak Cakes and a driving force propelling the company to the multimillion-dollar brand we all know now.

Clark finding the right partner was the best thing that happened to the company and he was once quoted saying that Cameron smith was his secret weapon and without him, Kodiak Cakes would probably be not the success it is today.

When Cameron joined the company, its average annual sales were approximately $800,000 but after 11 years the company grossed an annual sales of $200,000.

The Shark Tank pitch

Joel and Cameron faced the tremendous task of raising enough funds to achieve their target of twenty to thirty million dollars in the next 4 years.

So, they decided to do the unthinkable and applied to appear on the ABC’s shark tank. The “sharks” were impressed with the family business and invited them to appear on their show. Cameron Smith was a shark tank enthusiast so he run the idea past Clark.

Kodiak Cakes on The Shark Tank

In 2014, Kodiak Cakes appeared on episode 522 on the acclaimed show, Shark tank, seeking $500,000 for 10 % of the business. Kodiak Cakes appeared before the following “sharks”; Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O’Leary.

To spice things up, Kodiak used a human-size bear in their demonstration which is the official brand image on the packaging. To prepare their pitch, they rehearsed using a mock panel of investors who were their friends to polish their skills. This went a long way in helping both Joel and Cameron prepare.

Kodiak Cakes faced some hardship when pitching their business to the sharks but it seemed they came prepared. Joel led the pitch and argued that the company was already established and was growing by 50% annually.

When Joel said, “that the first order to target was about $260,000 order…it was a huge order!” to demonstrate that the company is on the ascendancy. This fascinated the Sharks and they made them make several counteroffers in a bid to own a stake in the business.

Kevin O’ Leary offered $500,000 for 50% of the company, Barbara offered the same amount for 50% of the business too while Robert Herjavec offered $500,000 for a 35% stake in the company. One shark

Kodiak Cakes anticipated better offers and because they came prepared they respectfully declined. They knew that the company faced stiff competition from other established companies so they felt that they needed to buy more shelf space to become competitive.

Despite these shortcomings, they opted to stand their ground.

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No sharks, No problem

Although they didn’t find an investor, appearing on the shark tank episode was a blessing in disguise. Prior to the show, the company’s revenue was approximately $2.5 million but after appearing on the show the revenue doubled to $5 million the following year.

After that, Kodiak Cakes never looked back and embarked on producing other products to diversify the business. In 2017, they shuttered the $ 20 million projection they set to achieve on revenues by doubling it to $ 54 million.

Healthy Lifestyle Awareness

People have become more aware of what they eat nowadays and give special attention to what they buy. According to research, foods enriched and fortified with proteins, fibers, vitamins, and minerals are likely to sell more than those without.

Working with influencers is the clever marketing strategy they use to raise awareness. They normally work with people that are passionate about wellness and promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. These partnerships have made them rack up major boosts in sales and awareness

The company initially employed only 6 people but now this number has increased to 100 employees as of 2021. The company was also voted among the best working environments by the people of Utah.

Kodiak Cakes has a variety of products to choose from, including;

  • Baking Mixes
  • Flapjack & Waffle Mix
  • Graham Crackers
  • Fruit Syrups
  • Kodiak Cups
  • Nut Butter Syrup
  • Oatmeal
  • Snack Adventurously
  • Syrup
  • Buttermilk Power Cakes Flapjack
  • Toaster Waffles & Flapjacks

Kodiak cakes aims to tap into this new market.

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Good Customer Care

In one interview, Joel was asked how they had managed to relate well with customers and he said it is all down to the customer response team. He said that they get numerous calls from customers thanking them for handling their grievances or issues perfectly thus gaining their loyalty and trust. He stated that it is important for any business to invest heavily in dedicated customer care personnel to meet customer needs.

Popular in the Fitness Community

Kodiak Cakes’ mission statement is “eat healthier and live an active life with food to inspire today’s frontier.”

Protein Pancake Mix (Power Cakes)

They have shown that they are committed to putting emphasis on the customer’s nutritional needs by hiring qualified dietitians and personal trainers. They signed up these professionals to assist them to inspire and educate people on healthy eating and better living.

Lately, fitness programs have become trendy, especially among young people; therefore Kodiak cakes are putting emphasis on product development to tap into the emerging markets. As a result, rather than sell white flour pancake mix, they sell organic pancake mix.

In June 2014, when high-protein diets and fitness were gaining a lot of momentum, Kodiak Cakes introduced Power Cakes, a whole grain, protein-packed, non-GMO whole wheat pancake. It blew up and became so popular. The hashtag #KodiakProteinPancakes trends regularly on Instagram.

According to their website, they offer over 100 recipes that are tasty with lots of nutritional benefits that you can try at home.

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How Kodiak Beat the Competition

Smith was interviewed by a leading newspaper and when he was asked how they managed to thrive in the pancake mix category that was declining in popularity he said the following,

” We kind of snuck up on everyone and established a brand in a category that didn’t matter to consumers. we took this category that retailers saw as a commodity, then did not care as much about it and we were able to bring back growth; double-digit growth! and what happened was buyers loved working with us because we made them look good.” He continued by adding that, ” it made customers excited about a new breakfast offering and it gave customers a reason to talk about pancakes again.”

Kodiak Cakes identified their shortcomings and decided to act on them in order to go a step further. They knew that if they partnered with an investor, they will acquire the resources needed to buy more space in retail shops around the country. At that time they were raking in $800,000 in revenue from sales but they saw the potential to grow.

Kodiak Cakes Diversifying

When Joel and Cameron saw a need to become more innovative to be competitive, they added protein powder to the mix thus creating the popular Power Cakes recipe.

Shopping list

This was the “eureka” moment in the history of their company. Smith said that they saw an opportunity in the category to innovate because they saw a gap in their market niche and exploited it. He said that they had realized that there were no whole grain players in the market adding protein to enrich their mixes.

Cameron smith once said, “when I joined we were doing about $800,000 and we’re were doing just pancake mixes and we had a few baking mixes; a brownie and a cookie mix. The biggest thing on top of our mind for us then was how do we get more awareness of the brand. We knew if we got into more hands and we got more people trying it we could help the brand grow,” he then added, “Kodiak cakes saw spikes in sales at target. That was a good driver to trial but then our belief held that once people tried it, they would continue to buy it,”

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Giving Back to the Community

Kodiak Cakes also fulfills its social responsibilities by making a difference to people in need by collaborating with local food banks in offering free hot meals.

Kodiak Cakes Conservation

Also, they are actively involved in conservation efforts by working with an organization known as Vital grounds to protect grizzly bears. Grizzly bears are facing the danger of extinction therefore Kodiak is helping to protect their habitats and ecosystems to help them survive.

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Challenges Experienced

When asked about the biggest challenge they faced since joining the industry, they said they disliked the uneven playing field brought about by the slotting fee retailers normally ask for to put products on their shelves. They termed it as a very “unfair” practice in any business environment.

Clark disclosed that he had once quit Kodiak Cakes and was taken over by an undisclosed company. The company did so badly after the takeover the company almost collapsed. Clark decided to revoke the contract and borrowed some money from his father to maintain its operations. Luckily, an unexpected order from Target of $ 260,000 became the turning point.

Conclusion

Kodiak Cakes’ rise to the top is a result of combining the right elements systematically and sticking to the core values of the company. Kodiak cakes mixes are as good as advertised because the ingredients are of high quality, balanced and nutritious. I was able to find some customer reviews to learn about the impact Kodiak cakes have had on people.

Lastly, Kodiak Cakes has undergone some challenges along the way but time and patience is the main reason it has become a sensational company. It’s crazy to think that it took 16years to hit the $1million mark in sales and now Kodiak cakes’ net worth is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Before you leave

If you’re tired of scams and want a real solution for making money online check out my no.1 recommendation.

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(This is a 100% free training)

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