The brand has targeted several high-growth food categories with its expansion into four new areas of the grocery store. According to KIND, the energy nutrition bar category registered $2.8bn in sales in 2019, growing at 9.6%, two times the rate of the snack aisle.
Meanwhile, premium ice cream consumption is up 19% over the past three years, and the refrigerated bar category grew 34% in dollar sales last year, reported KIND.
“While we're entering new aisles and new temperature states for KIND, our approach to innovation remains the same,” Mike Barkley, CEO of KIND, told FoodNavigator-USA.
“It has enabled us to expand our eating occasions and bring new innovation to existing KIND fans, as well as introduce KIND to frozen/refrigerated bar users for the first time."
According to the brand’s ‘promise’, KIND’s products strive to be both "healthy and tasty" with the first ingredient in its snacks always being a nutrient-dense food recommended for daily consumption (i.e. nuts).
NEW PRODUCTS, NEW AISLES
Frozen aisle: KIND FROZEN Bars
Chocolate aisle: KIND Bark
Refrigerated aisle: KIND Nut Butter Bar
Snack mix aisle: KIND Nut & Fruit Clusters, KIND Nut & Seed Clusters
While the KIND snack bars contain indulgent ingredients such as dark chocolate and peanut butter, its market positioning has primarily been as a convenient, nutrient-dense snack.
With the launch of KIND Frozen, the brand has an opportunity to tap into the more indulgent category of frozen desserts.
KIND Frozen bars have a creamy nut milk base with whole nuts chopped and mixed into the bar itself and topped with a drizzle of dark chocolate. Each bar is 180 calories (roughly the same amount of calories as many flavors of the original KIND nut bars) with 10g of added sugar, 4g of protein, and 2g of fiber.
And while consumers can easily pick up a frozen dessert product for 100 calories or fewer, KIND’s positioning within the better-for-you frozen aisle is the absence of many artificial ingredients other brands rely on to keep their calorie counts down.
“In a category where ‘better-for-you’ too often comes with artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, and ‘real ingredients’ come with indulgence, KIND Frozen defines a new space so you can feel good about enjoying the frozen treat you deserve,” said Barkley.
Refreshed health credentials?
Following USDA research suggesting that traditional methods for calculating energy have “grossly miscalculated” the metabolizable energy from whole nuts, KIND is reducing calorie counts of its nut bars by 10 to 30 calories depending on the bar.
“We recently adopted the USDA’s latest nutrition research to further our commitment to transparency surrounding our products and their nutritionals. The research found that whole nuts, such as almonds and cashews, contribute 19% and 16% fewer calories, respectively, than previously thought due to the way in which our bodies digest the fat found in these nuts. Despite the calories decreasing, the nutrition profile of nuts, including those in KIND’s products, remain the same,” noted Barkley.
As a result, KIND’s best-selling offering, dark chocolate nuts & sea salt, shifted from 200 to 180 calories. Its KIND Frozen bars reduced their calorie counts from 190 to 180.