- Kind Healthy Snacks launched Kind RD Connect, a program that matches people looking for nutrition support with registered dietitians in their area. Kind's program, which goes on through Feb. 18, will provide 3,000 free 15-minute sessions with dietitians.
- The company said in a statement it's launching the program as the country is facing an unprecedented health crisis. People want to be healthier, but many are avoiding doctors because of the pandemic, according to the statement. These registered dietitians are part of Kind's Nutrition Collective, a group of medical professionals that works with the brand.
- Since Kind was started in 2005, it's been a cornerstone of the healthy snacks movement. Not only are its products based on natural and healthy ingredients — including nuts, dried fruits, seeds and grains — but the company has been a strong advocate for policy changes to help consumers be healthier. Mars, Incorporated acquired the brand in November in a deal that reportedly valued the company at $5 billion.
Kind's new program is one of the more far-reaching ways the company has promoted healthy eating and put its values into practice.
While dietitians contacted through the program may recommend snacks like the ones that Kind makes, the company says the effort is focused on helping people struggling through the pandemic get the nutrition they need. Four out of five people want to practice more self care, according to Harris Poll statistics the company cites in its press release. And in the midst of the pandemic, just under half of people say they are struggling to maintain their physical, mental and spiritual health.
As an independent company, Kind had a history of making bold moves — like displaying large test tubes holding roughly 2,000 gallons of synthetic dyes as part of a crusade against artificial colors — and entering competitive segments with products that have more natural ingredients. With the backing of global food giant Mars, Kind has a louder voice and deeper pockets to move its agenda forward. And this sort of initiative not only helps the snack brand drive its Kind Promise, which codifies the company’s dedication to clean-label ingredients, healthy food and transparency, but it also furthers Mars' Five Principles philosophy dedicated to positive business relationships.
This type of initiative also taps into what consumers are looking for right now. In the midst of a pandemic with no guaranteed treatments and a slow rollout of vaccines, many consumers are looking to food as a way to be healthier. Functional ingredients company Beneo found that about 75% of consumers plan to eat and drink healthier as a result of the pandemic. At the end of last year, one in three consumers said they ate healthier in 2020, according to a study from the International Food Information Council.
While these are consumers' own responses, there's no way of knowing if they are actually eating a healthy diet. And many consumers who want to eat healthier now are not. According to Mondelez International, 88% of people are snacking more during the pandemic, and cookie and chocolate sales are spiking. A consultation with a registered dietitian could put a consumer on the right track, nutritionwise.
It is likely that most registered dietitians would recommend eating foods that are more natural and less processed — an area that has been increasingly popular during the pandemic. And while this may or may not lead to an explicit recommendation to eat Kind's products, the brand is one of the best known in that niche. Kind's campaign is likely to help not just individual consumers, but the brand's bottom line.