Kodiak Cakes’ commitment to sustainability and conservation is important to Efron, who has demonstrated his own eco-conscious beliefs on “Down to earth.” Throughout the eight-part Netflix series, Efron travels to Iceland to learn about renewable energy, lives off-grid in Costa Rica, and campaigns against biopiracy in Lima.
With Kodiak, Efron puts all of his weight behind the keep it wild initiative. The first sale of sold-out merchandise included limited-edition prints and apparel, with 100% of proceeds and a matching dollar donation from Kodiak Cakes going directly to grizzly bear and wildlife habitat conservation.
“We will continue to partner with artists and other brands to create limited edition products and apparel to raise funds for a range of conservation initiatives across North America focused on preserving ecosystems. delicate for wildlife and future generations,” Efron said.
“Keeping it wild” also extends to how the Kodiak Cakes team views its partnership with Efron. “We’re asking, ‘How can we make sure Zac is woven throughout the organization?'” Smith says. “Whether it’s through different products that we can launch with Zac’s imprint or other ways of doing good as a brand, we want Zac’s thoughts to be there. We want to stay close to him and we sure he helps us as we navigate some of these areas for Kodiak.
Of course, Kodiak Cakes also aims to be the best pancake mix in the world – and this partnership with Efron just might get them there.
“When I joined [Kodiak Cakes] in 2019, sales were just under $1 million,” Smith says. “I remember meeting another company at a food show, and they said they were making about $15 million in annual revenue. At the time, I thought, ‘Cow Holy shit, that’s over a million dollars a month.’ I remember thinking how cool it would be if Kodiak reached that level.
Kodiak far surpassed that level last year, making more than $300 million in annual revenue. “To see this and to see that someone like Zac is thrilled to partner with Kodiak and that athletes are saying they love the product, it takes my breath away,” Smith says.
In a meeting with Forbes earlier this year, Kodiak Cakes co-founder Joel Clark said the company was just one and a half points in market share from being the number one pancake mix brand on the market.
“When I started working with Joel, our pancake share was about 2% of the category. The pancake category was worth $300 million, and we had 2% of those dollars,” Smith says. “Today “Today, the pancake category has almost doubled, and as a brand, we are close to a 20% share.”
Today Kodiak Cakes is second only to Pearl Milling Company, formerly known as Aunt Jemima, and is rapidly gaining momentum. “We are passionate about not only becoming the number one brand, but also elevating what food can mean to consumers in this category,” Smith says. “When we become number one, we will have changed what pancakes mean to consumers.”
For the Kodiak Cakes team, pancakes are more than America’s favorite breakfast. Bayers believes the company’s products “fuel epic days and crazier lives.” and that an epic life can be achieved whether you’re a professional rock climber, a single mom starting her own business, or, in Zac Efron’s case, a movie star.
“A member of our management team once said that he fed his kids Kodiak cakes so they too could have epic days,” Bayers says. “Even if they’re just sending their kids to school, they want them to have an epic day where they meet new friends, do new things and anything is possible.”