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Kashi celebrates 25 years with 'random acts of Kashiness'

Kashi Founders Phil and Gayle Tauber share how the company was first started.

Kashi celebrated its 25th anniversary in October – an impressive milestone that saw celebrations at Kashi in La Jolla, Calif., as well as at Kellogg headquarters in Battle Creek, Mich.

Since its 1984 inception, Kashi has risen from a modest, two-person venture to a natural foods giant with 2008 net sales of $599 million.

The name "Kashi" is a combination of "kashrut," which means "kosher," and "Kushi," which is the last name of Michio and Aveline Kushi, who helped bring the modern macrobiotic diet to the United States.

"Kashi has grown tremendously by staying true to our core belief in the value of healthy, all-natural foods that taste great," says David DeSouza, General Manager, Kashi.

That driving philosophy informs everything Kashi does, including its anniversary theme of encouraging people to "spread random acts of Kashiness."

"At Kashi we have a spirit of natural living and of wanting to give back," explains Sandi Smith, Brand Manager, Kashi. "So a random act of Kashiness involves both kindness and natural living, like giving a piece of fruit to a delivery person or giving a reusable shopping bag to the person behind you in the grocery line."

Kashi's 70 employees hosted a wide range of anniversary activities in La Jolla, including a breakfast for hundreds, a "spin the wheel" prize activity at a local farmer's market, giveaways at a beach triathlon, and events at local organic stores and retail areas. The team also organized a beach cleanup followed by a raffle of Kashi goodies. Kashi founders Phil and Gayle Tauber even came to share the inspirational story of how they first started the company.

Kashi also sponsored a customer event for natural foods brokers and buyers at Natural Products Expo East, a September trade show held in Boston that drew more than 21,000 attendees.

Battle Creek got in on the fun with a display of Kashi memorabilia, a breakfast event, a yoga class, and a Lunch & Learn on "Kashi 101" with David DeSouza and Sarah Ceccarelli, Senior Manager, Marketing & Innovation, Kashi. Battle Creek employees helped spread "Kashiness" by randomly putting Kashi products in conference rooms and break rooms around the Kellogg campus for an unexpected treat.

The activities were a unique, fun and meaningful way to celebrate the anniversary of a business that's all about healthful eating and the power of positive change.

Tune in tomorrow for a fascinating look at Kashi's humble beginnings – and its bright future.

Amy Schwartz peers at the "spin the wheel" prize activity during a local farmer's market.
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