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Snacks & Candy

Kind Urges FDA to Update Nutrition Content Claims

Manufacturer striving to increase label transparency
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NEW YORK — Kind Healthy Snacks has filed a citizen petition urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update its nutrient content claim regulation—the list of claims that can be used on food and dietary supplement labels.

According to the petition, Kind is requesting that the FDA only allow nutrient content claims for items that mostly contain healthy ingredients, such as vegetables, fruits and nuts. The current regulation highlights the quantity of a nutrient instead of the quality of the food it’s in, which enables food marketers to put these claims on unhealthy products, according to Kind. As a result, consumers often believe these items are part of a healthy diet and are misled into purchasing them.

Such misleading claims may be found in many low-fat, high-protein options in the convenience market. And while some of these products are indeed “better for you,” others can be worse than the original version: Manufacturers who remove fat from snacks may add more sugar and artificial additives to replicate the flavor. This is seen in sugary cereals and snacks and sodium-packed frozen dishes, according to Kind’s petition.

Consumers agree with Kind’s argument. More than two-thirds (68%) say that nutrient claims are important when shopping, and 56% say the FDA should make these claims more direct, according to the petition, which cites data from Washington, D.C.-based Morning Consult.

"Dressing up empty-calorie products by emphasizing a singular nutrient, like protein or fiber, versus the overall quality of the food is unfair to consumers," said Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of Kind Healthy Snacks. "By bringing greater rigor to the use of nutrient claims, the FDA can increase label transparency and help people better identify foods that contribute to a healthy diet, which Kind has long advocated for."    

Kind has recently launched a flurry of products that support its petition. In August 2018, the company debuted Kind Kids chewy granola bars, a product line meant to encourage healthy eating among children. Three months later, the company launched Kind Minis, reduced-portion varieties of its traditional bars that have 100 calories or less. And in early March 2019, Kind released its new Nut Butter Filled Snack Bars, which are gluten-free and contain 100% whole grains on the outside.

New York-based Kind manufactures products made from whole ingredients, including Kind Fruit & Nut, Kind Nuts & Spices, Kind Healthy Grains Bars and Kind Healthy Grains Clusters.

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