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|KIND Healthy Snacks|
|Products||Snack Bars, Granola Bars, Granola|
Kind LLC, stylized as KIND LLC and sometimes referred to as KIND Snacks, KIND Healthy Snacks or KIND Bars, is a food company based in New York City, New York. It was founded in 2004 by Daniel Lubetzky. The company manufactures eight product lines.
In 2008, private equity firm VMG Partners invested in KIND. The investment enabled the company to scale its sampling efforts to get more people to try KIND bars. When VMG got involved, KIND bars were only sold in 20,000 locations and Lubetzky’s sampling budget was $800. By 2009, that budget was $800,000 and offering free samples became a large part of the KIND marketing plan. In 2014, Lubetzky bought out all of VMG’s shares.
Today, KIND Bars are sold at more than 150,000 stores in the United States. In 2014, they sold over 458 million bars and granola pouches, almost doubling the sales of 2013. The Forbes Global Billionaires annual issue for 2019 showed Daniel Lubetzky on its cover and estimated his stake in Kind placed his asset value at 1.5 billion. The company now has nearly five hundred employees.
Through the KIND Movement, KIND wants to create a thriving community of people who choose kindness and make kindness a state of mind. In the spirit of this movement, in 2009, KIND launched Do the KIND Thing, an evolving platform that empowers people to turn KIND acts into support for causes. The KIND Movement includes KIND acts, #kindawesome cards, and KIND Causes. To date, KIND has performed, facilitated and celebrated over 1 million KIND acts and has been recognized by Time magazine as a "New Way to Make a Difference".
KIND currently offers eight lines: KIND Fruit & Nut, KIND PLUS, KIND Nuts & Spices, KIND Healthy Grains Bars, KIND Healthy Grains Clusters, STRONG & KIND, KIND Breakfast, Pressed by KIND, and KIND Frozen (launched in May 2019).
In 2010, KIND launched smaller portioned, 100 calorie-range KIND minis. In 2011, KIND launched a line of KIND Healthy Grains Clusters granola, made from a blend of five super grains. In 2012, KIND brought in KIND Nuts & Spices, made with whole nuts flavored with spices that contain 5g of sugar or less per bar. In 2013, KIND launched a line of KIND Healthy Grains granola bars. In 2014, KIND launched its first savory snack line, STRONG & KIND, which has 10 grams of soy-and-whey free protein. KIND also launched KIND Breakfast in 2016.
In 2016, at the Natural Products Expo West trade show, KIND announced an extension to their Nuts & Spices and Fruit & Nut lines, to now include Dark Chocolate Almond & Mint.
All KIND snacks are gluten-free, made from whole ingredients and low in sodium. Currently, their KIND Healthy Grains and KIND Healthy Grains Clusters are certified by the NON-GMO Project.
All KIND bars range between 180-210 calories and have healthy fats and protein. The KIND Healthy Grains bars are 140-150 calories with 18 grams or more of whole grains per bar. STRONG & KIND bars are all 230 calories each with 10 grams of protein.
The FDA submitted a warning letter to the company in April 2015, which stated that four of its products did not meet the requirements to be labeled as “healthy.” The KIND bars specified by the FDA were: Kind Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot, Kind Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, Kind Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Kind Plus Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants.
In December 2015, KIND filed a Citizen Petition asking the FDA to update its regulations around the term healthy when used as a nutrient content claim in food labeling. The petition requests a better alignment between food labeling regulations and both the latest nutrition science and federal dietary guidelines. The petition includes support from public health experts, public policy experts and nutritionists.
In May 2016, the FDA reversed its position, allowing KIND to use the term 'healthy' on its labels. The FDA told KIND that it could return to the original language of its wrappers which stated that its products are “healthy and tasty, convenient and wholesome, economically sustainable and socially impactful.”
Without any notice, in 2019, Kind began replacing its Plus line of bars containing added antioxidants, such as vitamin C, with ones containing the same ingredients without the antioxidants while using the same product identification numbers. Vitamin C is fragile and often lost in the processing of otherwise healthy ingredients that normally contain it.
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- Kowitt, Beth (10 May 2016). "In Reversal, the FDA Says 'Healthy' Can Return to Kind Bar Packaging". Fortune. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
But it seems the FDA has had a change of heart. In an email seen by Fortune, the FDA has said that the company can return the original language to Kind Bar packaging that says its products are “healthy and tasty, convenient and wholesome, economically sustainable and socially impactful.” It was that reference to “healthy” that the agency took issue with.