The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to KIND Snacks stating that the brand must fix its labels and stop calling its bars "healthy" when they don't meet its standard for the term.
According to the FDA, in order to be properly labeled as "healthy," food must contain no more than a gram of saturated fat for every serving. Four of KIND's snack bars are being targeted for the label because they contain over 2.5 grams of saturated fat per 40g. The Almond & Apricot, Almond & Coconut, Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants, are all over the limit — containing up to 5g of saturated fat.
Daniel Lubetsky, the CEO of KIND Snacks, has responded to the FDA's letter, saying the company will fully cooperate with the agency to fix the matter. He didn't go down without a defense, though.
"Nuts, key ingredients in many of our snacks and one of the things that make fans love our bars, contain nutritious fats that exceed the amount allowed under the FDA's standard," the company stated in a note on the website. "This is similar to other foods that do not meet the standard for use of the term healthy, but are generally considered to be good for you like avocados, salmon and eggs."
Despite KIND's argument for good fats, there's no going around the FDA's standard that considers the bars unworthy of the "healthy" label.
The FDA letter told KIND to respond with a plan of action, and to include an explanation for every step that will be taken to address the violations listed by the agency, as well as explaining how it will avoid similar ones in the future.
The FDA also took issue with several other aspects of KIND's labeling, including the brand's use of the + symbol, which specifies certain nutritional quotas, and for stating that it is "antioxidant-rich" with "no trans fats." If KIND fails to make the necessary changes, its bars could be taken off the shelves.
The company is however confident, assuring its customers that in spite of having to incorporate new labels in the future, its recipes will stay the same. While the FDA's letter singled out only four varieties, KIND said it will be reviewing all of its snack food labels, including website information, to make sure all its products are in compliance.