Snack bar manufacturer KIND Healthy Foods has branched into the fruit snacks category by introducing KIND Fruit Bites, made with fruit and no added sugar.
The product line aims to help reduce children’s added sugar consumption, which, on average, is 80 grams — 19 teaspoons a day — KIND said in a news release. That’s more than three times the 25-gram recommendation made by the American Heart Association.
Citing IRI data, KIND said fruit snacks can contribute to overconsumption, noting 9 out of the 10 leading fruit snacks contain added sugar as the first ingredient. KIND Fruit Bites do not contain added sugar, juices, purees, concentrates, preservatives or genetically-engineered ingredients. Each snack has three ingredients or fewer, and is made with fruit such as cherries, apples and mangos. Each pouch provides one full serving of fruit.
A five-pack retails at $4.99.
"Since day one, KIND has been committed to balancing health and taste, and our KIND Promise has centered on crafting snacks with a nutritionally-dense first ingredient," says Daniel Lubetzky, KIND founder and ceo. "KIND Fruit Bites honors this promise, and is consistent with how we've always entered categories – with an eye toward disruption and a goal of elevating people's overall experience."
In an effort to kick-start that educational journey, KIND today unveils an installation depicting 45,485 pounds of sugar. Located in Times Square for one day only, the installation serves as a visual representation of the amount of added sugar children in the U.S. are eating every five minutes.
"While the general public's understanding of nutrition has become increasingly sophisticated, an opportunity still exists to educate on added sugars,” says Stephanie Perruzza, registered dietitian and health and wellness specialist at KIND. “This is especially true in categories like fruit snacks, where people understandably assume that their snack is made predominantly of wholesome ingredients, such as fruit. We saw our entrance into the children's snack space as an appropriate time to use our voice for good – to help people understand how much added sugar kids are eating every day, and how that can be detrimental to their overall health.”
This isn’t the first time KIND has sought to shake things up. Last year KIND introduced the Pressed by KIND snack bar line, which features products that contain only fruit, vegetables and chia. Those are also made without added sugars.
Also in 2016, KIND challenged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s complaint against the company using “healthy” to describe the product. After reviewing the case, the FDA rescinded the complaint.
Lubetsky, however, launched a citizen’s petition asking that the FDA update its standards regarding what’s healthy and what’s not. He also created Feed the Truth, an independent organization seeking to improve public health by promoting truth, transparency and integrity in the food system. Lubetzky removed himself entirely from the organization’s activities and governance and assembled three unaffiliated public health advocates whose sole role is to nominate Feed the Truth’s Board of Directors.