With an emphasis on wholesome ingredients, a do-gooder social agenda and smart marketing, Kind’s granola snack bars have been a game-changer in the US snack bar market.
Now, Kind Snacks is coming for the kids’ aisle in a move that should terrify industry leader Welch’s.
The healthy snack-maker is venturing beyond snack bars and granola for the first time ever and launching fruit bites – which it says are all-natural fruit snacks for kids devoid of added sugars, genetically engineered ingredients and preservatives.
Sweet snacks have garnered a bad rap in recent years, with several studies linking many of them to childhood obesity and other diseases and consumers too growing increasingly more conscious. In fact, according to a 2016 study by the American Heart Association, children in the US eat three times as much added sugar as they should. This has also slowed down the whole industry, according to Euromonitor, with it having grown by just 1.7% in retail value terms over 2015.
Kind sees a clear opportunity in entering the market and catering to the demand for products that appear more natural, with a mission to revive the $963 million category.
“Since our inception, we have lived by the ‘Kind Promise,’ where the first ingredient in all our products is always something nutritionally rich, something you have heard of and something you can pronounce,” Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of Kind, told Business Insider. “We felt that the fruit snacks category was ripe for disruption. There is a lot of deception in the space.”
Nine out of the 10 leading fruit snacks have added sugar as their first ingredient and the same first two ingredients as gummy bears – corn syrup and sugar, according to IRI. The brand is tackling this “deception” head-on in the marketing promotions around its new category, calling competitors out without directly naming them.
The video below, for instance, features a series of kids attempting to read – and cutely mispronouncing – some ingredients in other fruit snacks, such as ascorbic acid and sodium citrate. The video then ends with the brand asking users to participate by not eating what they can’t tweet with the hashtag #DontEatWhatYouCantTweet.
In another video, the brand has stitched together several home-recording style videos that show kids not being kind, such as smashing vases and pushing another kid over. It ends with the tagline “Kids aren’t always kind but their snacks should be.” Kind is promoting these videos and a range of other digital assets across its social channels.
- Kind Snacks
But perhaps the biggest investment is an experiential stunt that it is doing in New York, another first for the brand. Sugar is the enemy and is front and center of a three-story high educational display made up of45,485 pounds of sugar that the company has unveiled in Times Square today.
The structure visually represents all the added sugar that all US children are eating every 5 minutes. The installation also showcases statues of children each made from 64 pounds of sugar – the average amount of sugar one 8-year old child consumes in a year, according to the IRI.
“We have always been focused on bringing transparency to the industry and categories that we’ve been playing in,” said Lubetzky. “The stunt in Times Square is just a new way in which to do this.”