The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter of nine pages to Kind company this week that said four of its different snacks were misbranded because among other issues, the company says they are “healthy” when their bars do not meet the definition the agency has for that word.
When looking at the complaints made by the FDA about the Kind bars, it is clear the company has violated the labeling laws that are designed to prevent businesses from delivering to consumers, information that is misleading about the healthfulness of products.
However, when it comes to the effect on healthy eating the majority of the violations are minor.
Not all bars are really a healthy snack and consumers must look to the bars that contain real foods such as nuts, dried fruits and grains that are high on the list of ingredients. Two of the Kind Plus bars met that criteria, but the FDA says others do not.
The FDA says that a food can be called healthy only if it contains 1 gram or less per serving of saturated fat and receive no more than 15% of its total calories through saturated fat. The four bars that the FDA called out have 2.5 to 5 grams.
In their labeling Kind also used the “+” symbol which caused problems with the FDA. The regulatory agency’s regulation says the “+” can only be used if the food has 10% more of a particular nutrient that another food that is similar and that the product lists the food. The labeling of the Kind bars does not.
In addition, a product making a protein claim needs to list the DRV or Daily Reference Value of protein in its Nutrition Fact section. The bars in question did not.
The Kind bars have a claim that they are a good fiber source. The FDA gives a definition of a good source as between 10% to 19% of the DRV for one nutrient. As far as the bars are concerned that would be 2.5 to 4.75 grams and the bars in question meet that requirement.