- KIND Healthy Snacks has made its first push beyond bars with the introduction of a line of fruit snacks called KIND Fruit Bites, according to a press release. The product is made only with real fruit and contains no added sugar, juices, purees, concentrates, preservatives or genetically engineered ingredients.
- "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," KIND founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky said in the statement. "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."
- KIND is launching Fruit Bites as a healthy alternative to the many sugar-filled products on the market targeting kids. The company deployed quite a marketing tactic to convey its healthy stance, constructing a 45,485 pound sugar pile in Times Square, reports AdWeek — equivalent to the amount of sugar U.S. children eat every five minutes.
KIND is looking to disrupt the fruit snack category in much the same way it did bars. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect — just in time for back-to-school lunches. The better-for-you brand’s launch of KIND Fruit Bites, made with better-for-you ingredients, was introduced amid social media fanfare and a rather huge marketing ploy in Times Square earlier this week.
“These bite-size snacks are made with only real fruit — you won’t find any juices, purees, concentrates or preservatives here! With no sugar added and a full serving of fruit in each pouch, it’s the perfect on-the-go fruit snack,” the company said on its website.
According to a 2016 study by the American Heart Association, U.S. children eat three times as much added sugar as they should. KIND wants to nip these bad eating habits by offering a healthier alternative that parents feel good about giving their kids because too many snacks and other food products targeting children are sugar-laden. Business Insider points to an IRI study that found most fruit snacks contain sugar as the top ingredient.
KIND actually took the initiative to release its added sugar disclosure last year, two years ahead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deadline, which has now been pushed back. New nutrition facts regulations will require all manufacturers to disclose added sugar content. KIND now publishes information about the added sugar content for the more than 60 snack products across its portfolio.
"Since our inception, we have lived by the 'Kind Promise,' where the first ingredient in all our products is always something nutritionally rich, something you have heard of and something you can pronounce,” KIND’s Lubetzky told Business Insider. "We felt that the fruit snacks category was ripe for disruption. There is a lot of deception in the space."
While the nearly $1 billion fruit snack category isn’t exactly high-growth – up just 1.7% since 2015, according to Euromonitor – there are some opportunities in the market. A recent study by Innova Market Insights found that fruit-based snacks account for 18% of all global launches, more than twice what it was five years ago. But while fruit-based snacks may be growing in popularity, many nutritionists warn they aren’t especially healthy. And through the years, complaints and lawsuits have been filed against companies like Welch’s and General Mills to try and make more people aware of fruit snacks' actual content.
Consequently, KIND sees plenty of room for disruption by introducing its healthier fruit snack version — a move which should definitely be concerning for other makers of the product. Take for example what’s happening in the bar category where legacy brands are losing market share to smaller, trendy upstarts. Special K bars saw sales slip 39% since 2011, while KIND Bars secured 10% of the market in just five year’s time.
Expect more of the same in the fruit snacks category – where a fruit fight is likely to ensue. For now at least, KIND’s “real” Fruit Bites seem to be one of a kind — the healthy kind.