Expo West 2018

New products from KIND Snacks offer reduced sugar for healthier alternatives to competing options

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

For KIND Snacks, rising consumer concern about sugar and upcoming changes to the Nutrition Facts panel that will more boldly highlight the nutrient represent an opportunity – rather than a threat – to set itself apart from the competition with new products that have reduced sugar but not reduced taste.

“Consumers are continually looking for lower sugar products, and I think every opportunity they have to remove a little bit of sugar from their diet is something that they think is a great opportunity,”​ and one that KIND Snacks is striving to help them meet, KIND’s Senior Marketing Director Jon Lesser told FoodNavigator-USA at Natural Products Expo West earlier this month.

As such, he explained, KIND is launching new products made with less sugar and is reformulating existing products to reduce the nutrient.

For example, “KIND Kids chewy granola bar has 25% less sugar than the leading kids’ granola bar, so it really gives parents, when they are thinking about healthy snacking for their kids, ways to reduce sugar and just give their kid a snack they know they will love, but is healthy for them,”​ Lesser said.

The launch of the Kids chewy granola bar at Expo West follows the company’s launch of Kind Fruit Bites last year, which also focused on sugar reduction.

“We launched KIND Fruit Bites last year to really disrupt the fruit snack category. When we looked at fruit snacks, it was a category that had a lot of products that had a lot of added sugar. Our KIND Fruit Bites are made with only three ingredients and no added sugar. So, it is real fruit being pressed into a KIND fruit bite for kids,”​ Lesser said.

The company is not only cutting back on sugar in its children’s products, but also across its portfolio to include old and new snacks aimed at adults.

At Expo West the company launched Pressed by KIND with Dark Chocolate, which delivers one full serving of fruit, but with only one gram of added sugar from the chocolate “so it really fits our ethos of delivering health and wellness products that have very low added sugar,”​ Lesser said.

This builds on the recent reformulation of the company’s flagship fruit and nut bars a few years ago, which involved reducing sugar by 14-56% across the line, he said.

“We did that a time when we updated the Nutrition Facts panel to the new FDA guidelines and we did years in advance of it being required of us. So, now we are communicating that lower sugar veteran snack bar line and showing consumers exactly how much added sugar is in each product,”​ he explained.

KIND also is educating consumers about added sugars versus naturally occurring sugars with help from more than 3,000 registered dietitians who are part of a Nutrition Collective and work with clients, appear on talk shows and do general consumer outreach about what healthier options are available.

Lesser emphasizes the brand will continue to look for ways to bring healthier options to consumers that are both lower in sugar and higher in nutrition.

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