The New York-based company, founded in 2004, will launch in Tesco stores across the country on October 12.
It will launch bars from its Fruit & Nut and Nuts & Spices lines, continuing to produce them in US facilities.
In the US, Kind Bar has been quite successful in pushing forward the snack bar market. In 2014, the company was in 150,000 retail stores and sold 458m units, which had tripled since 2012.
Slightly different thoughts on snacking
Katie Nahoum, marketing director of Kind Snacks, told BakeryandSnacks that the snack bar category is a bit different in the UK than it is in the US.
Stateside, energy and nutrition bars have been popular for years, whereas in the UK it is more of a specialty product, with biscuits soaking up much of the popularity.
“There are a lot of biscuits and the granola category is rolled into the energy category that exists,” she said. “But snack occasions [in the UK] are on the rise. We’ll see [growing] margins in better-for-you snacks, as 22% of people are now having breakfast outside of the home. They’re looking for something convenient that they can grab and take with them.”
Nahoum said they will reach out to consumers that have busy, on-the-go lifestyles. She said this is an increasing set of people that want healthy, natural food that will “fill them up and make them full”.
With many UK residents looking to cut down on their sugar intake, Nahoum said she believes Kind will be able to fill and push forward the healthy snack market.
What varieties will be available in the UK?
- Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt
- Caramel Almond & Sea Salt
- Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt
- Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate
- Almond & Coconut
- Cranberry Almond & Macadamia Nuts
- Dark Chocolate & Cherry Cashew
“There’s a lot of attention on sugar in the UK, what’s the right amount you should be consuming,” she said. “Our role is to have a product naturally low in sugar.”
Nahoum believes Kind will thrive off more consumers having awareness of what they are eating. She noted that more than two-thirds of UK consumers report they look for sugar on the packaging; she believes there have been macro shifts in the snack industry because of this, with companies like Kind seeing the benefit of demand for healthier, more natural ingredients.
Kate Lucas, Kind managing director UK, agreed, saying: “Kind is exactly we Brits have been missing.”
"The range’s unique flavor combinations set it apart from anything we are used to snacking on,” she said in a statement. “The bars are perfectly convenient for our busy, ‘always on’ and increasingly health conscious lifestyles, and they really do taste great,”
Creating a new category
Kind will have some work to do in the UK, as Nahoum said there will need to be “category building” to popularize healthy snack bars.
“We’ve played a specific role in the US for category building; we created this whole set of better for you snack bars,” she said. “In the UK, it’s not as developed as a category as a whole. We expect, while completion is always going to be there, it’s also going to be a scenario of category building and category creation.”
A lot of the growth in popularity will likely come from increased awareness and greater distribution.
Nahoum said the company has a listing with Tree of Life, a major national food distributor, and she hopes they will see improved distribution across the UK later this year.
“We expect to see some premium independent stores adopt [Kind Snack bars],” Nahoum said. “We’ll go where anyone needs good, healthy, on the go snacks.”