Daniel Lubetzky is betting on kindness. He is the CEO and founder of KIND. He launched the snack company in 2004 with the intention of doing something kind for people’s bodies, taste buds, and also for the world – thus the name.
KIND has since become the fastest-growing snack company in the U.S. In 2014, they sold over 458 million bars and granola pouches, almost doubling the sales of 2013. In 2012, KIND sales were close to $120M.
Lubetzky, 47, was recently named by President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller “Do the KIND Thing.”
“It all started because I was disappointed with my own snacking options. I wanted something that was both healthy and delicious, and after ten years of non-stop mistakes we learned and eventually got it right,” Lubetzky says.
If there’s something Lubetzky knows intimately about it’s the impact of kindness on people. His father was a Holocaust survivor. As a child in the Dachau concentration camp, Lubetzky’s father credits a Nazi guard’s act of handing him a rotten potato for saving his life.
Lubetzky’s father immigrated to Mexico following the war, and then later the family relocated to the U.S.
“Kindness is a magical force that can help elevate humanity,” Lubetzky told Fox News Latino.
The Mexico City native’s first venture was PeaceWorks Inc,, a business launched in 1994 that works to foster cooperative ventures among neighbors in the Middle East.
After law school at Stanford, Lubetzky was awarded a $10K fellowship by the Bay area’s Jewish Federation to pursue economic research in Israel and forge Arab-Israeli ventures.
PeaceWorks launched when Lubetzky began working with Yoel Benesh. The two of them started a food line, focusing on tapenades and sauces – its trademark is “Cooperation Never Tasted So Good!”
This partnership led to other attempts, but it would eventually be KIND bars that would signal his success.
Additionally, Lubetzky is the co-founder of Maiyet, a fashion brand that partners with artisans to promote entrepreneurship in developing economies. And he has also co-founded the OneVoice Movement, an international grassroots effort to help continue the dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians hoping to end the ongoing conflict in the region.
The list of KIND Movement and its initiatives are many and generous.
KIND Causes donates $10K each month to social causes nominated and voted on by customers online.
Employees at KIND also carry “kindawesome” cards they give to strangers in public in reward for acts of kindness. Each card comes with a code though which recipients can claim a free KIND bar and more “kindawesome” cards to pay it forward.
KIND People, funded by the KIND Foundation, is a program celebrating those who've gone out of their way to help people in need. The program awards nominees on their journey by awarding a total of $1M -- 5 awards of $100,000 each and one award of one half a million.
“Kindness is one of those forces that when you’re kind to someone else, not only does that person feel good, but you feel good. And it’s one of those forces, that the more you do it, the more that everyone is better off,” Lubetzky says.