- The Food and Drug Administration reported that at least four varieties of Kind snack bars are violating their ability to print "healthy" on their product labels. In a letter sent last month, the agency requested that the company take prompt action.
- According to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, some Kind bar varieties have too much saturated fat to be considered healthy. The FDA requires that foods labeled "healthy" have less than 1 gram of saturated fat, while one of the varieties in question contains 3.5 grams and another contains 5 grams.
- If Kind does not fix the labels, the FDA could have the products removed from retail stores or seek a court order.
Kind sold about 458 million units last year, which more than triples the sales volume over the last two years. Fortune reported last year that Kind was "the fastest-growing energy and nutrition bar in the country." The company's products are available in 150,000 stores across the U.S.
The FDA's questioning of how healthy Kind bars really are may have come as a surprise to some, especially the company itself. Still, Kind stands behind its products and their "healthy" label and has already officially responded to the FDA.
In a statement, Kind's company spokesman Joe Cohen, said, “Nuts, key ingredients in many of our snacks and one of the things that make fans love our bars, contain nutritious fats that exceed the amount allowed under the FDA’s standard. There is an overwhelming body of scientific evidence supporting that nuts are wholesome, nutritious and healthful.”
Regardless of who is "right," Greg Paul, global marketing director at DuPont Nutrition & Health, commented on Kind’s effective product positioning.
“I think clearly they have been successful at the way they positioned that product,” Paul told Food Dive. “Now Whether FDA deems it’s inappropriate or not, that’s a different question, but in terms of conveying the message that this product has a wholesome appearance, the way they use the transparent packaging, the product name, I think they’ve done a very effective job positioning it to the target market that they were going after. Their sales success speaks for itself.”