- Kind released its first product in the frozen category. Called Kind Frozen, these bars are only available at Walmart.
- This new release is not only limited in distribution but also in flavor. Currently, the bar is available in single servings or 6-packs of Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt.
- Each bar is layered on top of a creamy almond paste base and surrounded by dark chocolate. Although indulgent, in keeping with the Kind philosophy, the bar does not contain any artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols or genetically engineered ingredients, the company says.
This latest product from the third biggest global snack bar maker is innovative. In true fashion for the brand, Kind is reaching into another category that is ripe for disruption with a variation of a tried and true product.
“This flavor is inspired by our Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt nutrition bar, which has been a fan (and personal) favorite since 2012,” Kind CEO and Founder Daniel Lubetzky said in a statement. A peek at the nutrition labels shows that the ingredients are similar, but that the sugar content is significantly higher in this frozen snack bar – 11 grams with 10 grams added sugars. The bar, by contrast, has 5 grams of sugar with 4 of those grams added. Still, with a bar that straddles the line between a snack and an ice cream bar, that’s to be expected.
With the frozen food segment’s stigma thawing and an investment in the brand from Mars Wrigley in 2017, it appears to be logical that Kind would step into the cold. The brand’s signature better-for-you bars have enabled it to carry its cachet into other products that toe the line between candy and snacks in the past — and be successful.
The same year the partnership with Mars Wrigley began, Kind made its first push beyond bars with a line of fruit snacks called Kind Fruit Bites. These are made only with real fruit, with no added sugar, juices, purees, concentrates, preservatives or genetically engineered ingredients. Fruit snacks were a trial run to get the company’s feet wet in a new and relatively small product category. When Kind released its gummies in 2017, Euromonitor reported that the $1 billion fruit snack category had increased just 1.7% since 2015.
Frozen foods are a different story. According to IRI data, frozen sales outpaced total store and fresh perimeter sales in 2017. That gap widened last year, with 2.6% sales growth compared to 1.7% for the total store. Unit sales for frozen were up 2.3% last year. This growth, coupled with the fact that frozen hasn’t been overrun by new snacking options, make it unsurprising that Kind is taking a bite out of the segment to further disrupt the $33 billion U.S. snacking market. The opportunity is especially advantageous because consumers are more interested in simple ingredient, clean label frozen products.
By partnering exclusively with Walmart, Kind has the advantage of the retailer’s reach and customer base to launch this frozen bar and bring more foot traffic in from curious customers. With Walmart’s previous experience in exclusive partnerships for products including Deep Fried Twinkies and Crotillas, the partnership may create far-reaching success through Kind’s brand recognition and loyal following and Walmart’s reach.
This frozen bar is unlikely to be Kind's final foray into the freezer case — or other sections of the store, for that matter. Lubetzky said in his statement that Kind is going to be found soon in more "unexpected" places throughout the store.
“As we look to close the taste gap in health-focused aisles and the health gap in taste-focused aisles, we will stay true to our nutrition principles,” he wrote.
This teaser reaffirms the company’s reliance on a health halo that allowed it to secure 10% of the market in just five years’ time. However, if Kind continues down the path of more indulgent offerings, marketing and a continued commitment to transparent labeling is going to be crucial to keep customers’ trust in the brand strong.