The move is to promote its new line of fruit snacks, which the New York-headquartered snack company claimed are healthier than other fruit snacks parading as ‘healthy’.
It is also to raise awareness of sugar consumption, which its purports is getting out of hand in the US.
According to the American Heart Association, kids on average are eating 80 g (19 teaspoons) of added sugar every day, which is way above the recommended limit of 12 g-36 g, depending on age and gender.
These figures show that, in one year, the average 9-year-old is eating his or her body weight in added sugar.
The 45,485-pound mound in Times Square is meant to resemble the amount of sugar that US kids eat every five minutes, according to Drew Nannis, head of integrated communications at Kind.
Fruit snacks a big culprit
Kind also contended fruit snacks are an often undetected contributor to this overconsumption.
The company has claimed that nine of the 10 leading fruit snacks made by unnamed rivals in the US contain added sugar as the first ingredient (based on IRI data, as of June 2017).
Stephanie Perruzza, a registered dietitian and Health & Wellness specialist at Kind, said the general public’s understanding of nutrition has become increasingly sophisticated, but an opportunity still exists to educate on added sugars.
“This is especially true in the fruit snack category, where people assume that snack is predominantly made with wholesome ingredients,” she added.
Ripe for disruption
Fructose versus glucose
Fructose (sugars found in fruits) and glucose (present in table sugar) have the same calorific value, but metabolize differently in the body.
Glucose is eaten, absorbed into the blood stream and makes it way to the liver where it is broken up. This requires insulin to do so.
Fructose releases a slower energy than glucose and does not require insulin to metabolize, so is a marginally better choice for diabetics.
According to Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of Kind, the fruit snacks space is “ripe for disruption”.
As such, Kind Snacks has added Kind Fruit Bites that each contain 60 calories, to its basket of snack bars and healthy grains granolas.
Each fruit snack is sweetened with only natural sugars from real fruit, like cherries, apples and mangos – which provides 11 g of sugar – and contains no added sugars, purees, concentrates, preservatives or GMOs; and is low in sodium.
Each 18 g pouch provides one full-serving of fruit.
Nannis added Kind aims to revive the $953m fruit snack category that Euromonitor noted had experienced a slowdown, growing by just 1.7% in retail value over 2015.
Fruit Bites are being handed out for tasting in Times Square until 7pm ET today. They are also available online and at retailers nationwide, at a SRP of $4.99 per five-pack box.