NEW YORK — Kind Healthy Snacks has set out to reinvent the fruit snacks category with the launch of Kind Fruit Bites. Available in three varieties, the products contain only fruit, such as apple, cherries or mango.
“When initially researching the fruit snacks on the market we discovered a category ripe for innovation,” Stephanie Perruzza, registered dietitian and health and wellness specialist at Kind Healthy Snacks, told Food Business News. “It was clear that there was an opportunity to create differentiation from a nutrition standpoint and also stay true to the Kind brand by delivering a great-tasting product.”
Nine out of the 10 leading fruit snacks contain added sugar as the first ingredient, according to SPINS data cited by the company.
“Kind Fruit Bites is the only fruit snack on the market made only from fruit and nothing else,” Ms. Perruzza said. “Kind Fruit Bites contain zero added sugars and provide one full serving of fruit. The bulk of the fruit snacks category has a perceived health halo despite the majority of the leading fruit snacks having added sugar as their first ingredient.”
Last year, the brand introduced a line of Pressed by Kind bars, which include only fruit and vegetables or chia seeds.
“All of our new products go through a robust innovation pipeline that can last anywhere from a few months to a few years,” Ms. Perruzza said. “Because we had a good foundation and understanding of how to make fruit-based snacks from our Pressed by Kind line, we were able to develop Fruit Bites relatively quickly.”
Fruit snacks represent a new frontier for the brand, historically a trailblazer in the nutrition bar category with the introduction of transparent packaging, simple ingredients and savory flavors.
“We’re always evaluating our current portfolio and discovering new ways to disrupt the industry by offering healthy and tasty, wholesome and convenient snacks,” Ms. Perruzza said. “Our entry into the fruit snacks category is very similar to our disruption of the granola category a few years ago. Just as health-conscious consumers stopped buying the sugar-laden granola they once thought to be healthy, we introduced Kind Healthy Grains Clusters and Kind Healthy Grains bars — both made from a blend of 100% whole grains.
“Just six months post-launch, the former was driving one-third of all growth in the granola category, and the latter 36% of all growth in the granola bar category.”In recent years, she added, the fruit snacks segment has become “another stalled category” that Kind hopes to reinvigorate with a healthier offering.