- FoodBev Media reports that U.S.-based snack bar maker KIND has created a new line of lower-sugar granola bars for children, featuring a blend of oats, sorghum and quinoa. This gluten-free product is available in the U.S. in three flavors: chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate chip and honey oat, with a recommended retail price of $3.99 for a pack of six.
- The product aims to make it easier for parents to find healthful food for their kids. More than a third of parents say that finding healthy options their kids will eat is the most stressful thing about packing lunch, and almost half said that their child brings home an uneaten nutritious snack at least once a week, according to a new survey done by KIND.
- Stephanie Perruzza, health and wellness associate manager at KIND, told FoodBev Media the company wanted to do something different with the kid-friendly treats. The bars offer more than half a serving of 100% whole grains, she noted, while still being flavorful.
So why create a special bar just for kids? Companies like KIND recognize the growth of the snack bar category, which has seen seen big sales numbers from 2013 to 2016 according to a Nielsen study. Kids are a key demographic, especially as parents begin gearing up for the upcoming school year, thinking about what to put in those daily lunches.
The release of KIND's new kids bar follows the launch of the company's Fruit Bites snack products last year during the same back-to-school season. With flavors like chocolate chip and peanut butter, it seems clear the company is hoping to pair the whole grains parents are looking for with flavors that appeal to kiddos.
With more than one in three parents saying they're confused about which kids' snacks to pack that will be both healthy and flavorful, there appears to be plenty of growth in the kid-food category. And as Natural Products Insider reports, not only do snacks now account for about a quarter of the calories children in the U.S. consume each day, but parents are increasingly worried about the growing obesity rate among kids.
By developing a bar aimed at children, KIND is able to address some of those concerns. Many adult bars contain 150-200 calories a pop, whereas children shouldn't consume more than 100 calories or so in a snack in order to maintain weight and to be hungry for their next meal. Adults also are looking for loads of protein in a bar, which tends to make them taste dense and chalky. Something with a little more flavor, say oats or honey, may appeal more to kids. As Natural Products Insider reports, Arla Foods Ingredients offers a dairy bar, which contains 20% protein and as much calcium as a glass of milk. What’s more, parents have shown they're willing to pay more for bars or snacks they believe contain "clean" or better-for-kids ingredients.
The bars reflect KIND’s mission to move into new market segments, even as the company benefits from Mars' huge international distribution network. Mars announced last November it took a minority stake in the healthy snacking company. Details of the agreement, including the size of Mars' investment, were not released, but Mars' said KIND would continue to operate independently under the leadership of its founder, Daniel Lubetzky, and handle operations in the U.S. and Canada. In partnership with KIND, Mars will lead growth outside of those countries. It will interesting to see how the new partnership pays off in this new venture.
One could expect more CPG companies to begin exploring ways to create and market products specifically for kids, especially as millennials — the largest U.S. consumer block — start and grow their families.