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Bear Naked Inc.
Industry Consumer Goods
Founded 2002
Founder Brendan Synnott and Kelly Flatley
Headquarters United States Norwalk, Connecticut, Conneticut, U.S.
Key people
Matt Jewett (Team Director), Rachel Sanzari (Director of Nutrition), Chris Hou (Brand Manager), Mike Joyce (Vice President of Marketing)
Products Granolas
Number of employees
11-50 employees
Parent Kellogg Company
Footnotes / references

Bear Naked Inc. is a start-up company turned health food powerhouse that produces granola and has recently expanded into cereals and energy bars. Bear Naked was started up in 2002 by co-owners Kelly Flatley and Brendan Synnott and has grown into a business that grosses around $65 million dollars per year. Bear Naked was sold to Kellog Company in 2007 for $122 million along with Wholesome & Hearty Foods Co. (A California-based manufacturer of veggie burgers under the Gardenburger® brand) and claimed the position of #2 granola brand in the United States.


Bear Naked Inc. was founded in October 2002 as a two-person operated business. By the year's end, Bare Naked was selling it's product in 25 stores in the Connecticut area.

In 2003, Bear Naked clinched their first 50 case deal with Stew Leonard, Jr. of Stew Leonard's Inc. (a dairy and grocery store chain in Norwalk, CT) by showing up unannounced at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast after countless unanswered phone calls. 2003 also marked the company's first hire as well as a growth in their sales distribution from 40 to 400 stores.

By 2004, Bare Naked begins to use distributors in order to reach their retailers in the Northeast and closes out the year with 20 full-time employees, distribution levels at more than 2000 retailers in 25 states.

2005 brings production increases from 5000 to over 2000 pounds of product per day. Bare Naked now distributes its product in over 10,000 retail stores, including industry giants like Costco and Kroger. Bare Naked is unveiled to be have the #1 and #2 best-selling granola product in the industry and is responsible for the 60% growth in the granola category.

Bare Naked gains new accounts with more national retailers such as Sam's Club, Target, Publix and Safeway in 2006 and is sold to Kashi Company, a subsidiary of Kellog's Company in November 2007. At the time of the sale, Bear Naked was producing over 40,000 pounds of granola a day and was bringing in an annual revenue of $65 million. Since the acquisition, Kellog's has taken Bear Naked national and has made it the #2 granola brand on the market,


All Bear Naked products are made with real whole grains and no artificial flavors, cholestrol, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, preservarives and 0 trans fat. Vegetarian friendly and Kosher certified.

All-Natural Granola

Apple Cinnamon

Banana Nut

Heavenly Chocolate

Fruit & Nut

Mango Agave Almond

Fit Granola

Vanilla Almond Crunch

Triple Berry Crunch

Peak Protein

The Original


Cranberry Raisin

Banana Nut

Grain-ola Bars

Fruit & Nut

Chocolaty Cherry

Tropical Fruit

Hot Cereal

Rolled Oats

Distribution Methods[edit]

Bear Naked's first distribution methods were heavily based on the efforts of its founders Brendan Synott and Kelly Flatley. As the demand for the product increased, the founders decided to hire Chris Mears (their first full-time employee) to help out with the distribution before turning to major delivery company UPS after achieving a rapid 3-year growth spurt. After Bear Naked sold its operations to Kellog in 2007, Kellog immediately closed down the Bear Naked plant that employed 48 in order to inexpensively produce Bear Naked in its own manufacturing plants.



Outbursts from critics came when Bear Naked Inc.'s original owners sold the company to Kellog in 2007. Accused of abandoning the start-up's core values of community empowerment and of following an honest and sustainable "green" business model by "selling out to the man," both Kelly and Brendan argued in their defense. Both claimed that Bear Naked's accelerated growth left them without the capacity to produce to meet the full demand for the product and felt that Kellog would be the best at taking the brand mainstream. The sale occurred in November 2007 when Bear Naked and Gardenburger was sold to Kashi, a subsidiary of Kellog for a reported $122 million.

The controversy also has struck a chord at the macro level when it comes to the business of major companies that buy out organic brands. Kellogs has gone to great lengths to hide the 2007 sale from consumers in order to maintain the integrity of the organic roots of the brand. As the August 2009 Chicago Tribune article noted,

"Nor will you find the Kellogg's name on a package of Bear Naked's granola, even though Kellogg's acquired Bear Naked when its Kashi division purchased the company. Indeed, Bear Naked's Web site provides reams of detail about the company's history, worldview and its commitment to the environment. Its timeline, though, omits the November 2007 buyout.",0,7190935.story

Press Releases[edit]


Product safety- peanut butter salmonella outbreak. February 17, 2009 Bear Naked announced a voluntary nationwide recall of packages of Bear Naked® All-Natural Peanut Butter Granola and Bear Naked® All-Natural Peanut Butter Granola with Heavenly Chocolate with a "Better If Used Before" date prior to Feb 01, 2010 and the following UPC bar codes on the package: 8-5641600100 and 8-5641600185.

These packages contained peanuts provided by the Plainview, Texas plant of Peanut Corporation- a company allegedly harboring contaminated product. After this incident, ties with Bear Naked and the Peanut Corporation of America have been discontinued and the PCA is no longer a supplier.




  1. ^ "Kellogg Company". Google Finance. Retrieved 2008-08-04.