In a move consistent with its 13-year history of reinventing categories, KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) entered the fruit snacks category with the release of KIND Fruit Bites. The product line, which contains only fruit and no added sugar, is poised to disrupt a category that, despite its name, has traditionally over-indexed on snacks filled with added sugar rather than fruit.
The entrance comes as added sugar consumption among US children remains alarmingly high, with kids on average eating 80 grams, or 19 teaspoons, of added sugar per day – more than three times the recommended limit of 25 grams (according to the American Heart Association). These numbers indicate that, in one year, the average 9-year-old is eating his or her body weight in added sugar. Fruit snacks are an often undetected contributor to this overconsumption, with 9 out of the 10 leading fruit snacks containing added sugar as the first ingredient.
"Since day one, KIND has been committed to balancing health and taste, and our KIND Promise has centered on crafting snacks with a nutritionally-dense first ingredient," says Daniel Lubetzky, Founder & CEO of KIND. "KIND Fruit Bites honors this promise, and is consistent with how we've always entered categories – with an eye toward disruption and a goal of elevating people's overall experience."
For years, the fruit snacks category has enjoyed a perceived health halo, but a recent study conducted by Morning Consult reveals that that perception is unfounded. Results show that, when shown the ingredient list of the leading fruit snack, nearly two-thirds (61%) of parents believed the ingredient list to be associated with sweetened cereal, soda, candy or a toaster pastry.
"While the general public's understanding of nutrition has become increasingly sophisticated, an opportunity still exists to educate on added sugars. This is especially true in categories like fruit snacks, where people understandably assume that their snack is made predominantly of wholesome ingredients, such as fruit," says Stephanie Perruzza, Registered Dietitian and Health & Wellness Specialist at KIND.
In an effort to kick-start that educational journey, KIND unveils an installation depicting 45,485 pounds of sugar. Located in Times Square for one day only, the installation serves as a visual representation of the amount of added sugar children in the US are eating every five minutes.
"We saw our entrance into the children's snack space as an appropriate time to use our voice for good – to help people understand how much added sugar kids are eating every day, and how that can be detrimental to their overall health," continues Perruzza. "Hopefully the installation will help put a spotlight on these important issues, which have managed to remain largely overlooked – until now."
In addition to no added sugar, KIND Fruit Bites do not contain any juices, purees, concentrates, preservatives or genetically engineered ingredients. Each snack has only three ingredients or less, and is made with only real fruit, like cherries, apples and mangos, and each pouch provides one full-serving of fruit.