KIND Crowdsources New Flavors With The Onion’s Help


Kind Snacks Spiced Fig

KIND has become the latest brand to tap into crowdsourcing for creative ideas, with the better-for-you snacking leader choosing its next bar flavor in a nationwide “Raise the Bar” contest aided by celebrity chef Daphne Oz.

KIND Snacks

In a faux PSA produced by The Onion, masters of satire, Oz (a cookbook author and co-host of The Chew) deadpans an explanation of a new epidemic: “Restless Palate Syndrome,” which can lead to unstoppable drooling and other symptoms as increasingly variety-seeking human taste buds voraciously seek the next off-the-wall flavor.

KIND wants to help solve RPS, of course, thus fans can vote (from May 9-31) for one of four potential flavors to be selected to ship out in a limited batch to voters this summer: Sangria, Sesame Seaweed Wasabi, Pistachio Cardamom Fig and Sweet Pretzel Crunch.

The company said in a statement that the contest partly was a response to the fact that as “consumers’ taste buds are never satisfied,” flavor mash-ups “continue to pop up … whether it’s the sushi burrito, cronut, or the Unicorn frappe” by Starbucks.

On a more serious note of the kind that has been associated with the KIND brand since founder Daniel Lubetzky stormed retailers over the last several years with his trail-blazing fruit-and-nut bars (since imitated by big CPG brands), the company has continued to push for the US government to establish a definition for the term “healthy” on consumer products.

Motivated by a warning letter that the FDA sent to KIND warning it about using the term “healthy” on its products, Lubetzky has made a personal cause of getting the government to address its standards. The main reason KIND bars were warned by the FDA is that they’re relatively high in fat—but in KIND’s case it’s the “healthy” kind of fat as in mainly from nuts, one of nature’s most nutritious types of foods.

Lubetzky in February donated $5 million, with the promise to donate $20 million more over the next 10 years, to create an independent organization called Feed the Truth whose goal is shining a light on the source of food policy research funds and what, if anything, donors have to gain or lose from the conclusions.

“In establishing Feed the Truth,” Lubetzky said, “my intent is to elevate reputable science, bolster the voices of the nutrition community, and improve the guidance and information offered to Americans.”