Brands in industries ranging from quick service restaurants to athleisure wear are trying to lift their sales by cashing in on the CrossFit consumer. But the natural food industry in particular has been sipping on the CrossFit Kool-Aid for years, and for good reason. The trademarked functional fitness program is a multibillion-dollar business with what some describe as a cult-like following.
CrossFit saw a boom in affiliated “boxes” (franchise gyms) in 2008, and since then, numerous food and beverage brands including RX Bar, FitAid, Kill Cliff and snack brand Lesser Evil have focused their product innovation, retail strategies and brand ambassador partnerships to appeal to this consumer segment. The biggest appeal to these brands is the purchasing power of CrossFit’s massive community, which ranges from weekend warriors to elite athletes like five-time CrossFit Games athlete Lauren Fisher.
Along with the rise of CrossFit came a host of other dietary trends — including counting macronutrients, or “macros,” and paleo or ketogenic products. For example, Google Trends shows that within the U.S. the spikes in search traffic for “paleo” have mirrored that of “CrossFit.”
It’s this last synergy that Lesser Evil hoped to play to when it signed on 24-year-old Fisher as a brand ambassador late last year. Not only does Fisher have the platform and authenticity to speak directly to CrossFitters, but she also has a robust network — including 908,000 Instagram followers.
During Natural Products Expo West 2018, Senior Reporter Meagan McGinnes spoke with Fisher about her work with Lesser Evil. Watch the video above to hear what she thinks natural brands need to do in order to be noticed by functional fitness consumers.