The line includes two varieties – crunchy peanut butter and double dark chocolate nut – both of which contain 12g of protein per bar and made without artificial ingredients.
“Consumers are looking for protein in their snacking and day-to-day eating,” said Cliff Wheeler, senior VP of small format at KIND. “But they are not looking for heavy protein… the sweet spot is 10g to 12g of protein.”
He said the launch of these new products will be supported by TV and digital advertising throughout 2018.
KIND, which presented at the NACS Show in Chicago recently (October 17 to 20, 2017), said its approach to growth in the convenience channel is “to bring profitable products” as the brand is earning more space in the market place.
“Protein-added snacks are not new in the convenience channel, but we see a lot of consumers are actively seeking protein,” said Wheeler.
“More and more of [KIND’s] competitors have called out protein on their packaging, and I think our offerings will have a great potential in this channel.”
KIND’s strategy of selling its products in c-stores is “no different” to mass and grocery stores, however, the demographics of consumers vary from channel to channel, said Wheeler.
“There are generally more men shopping at convenience stores. There is a trend that c-stores want to attract more diverse consumer base, such as women – this offers an opportunity to offer something that is a little different from what c-stores have been selling for the past 20 years.”
Growing global footprint
Wheeler said KIND is expanding its global footprint with recent entries into kids’ products and products that are not bar related.
“We’ve been in the snack bar business, and now we’re in the granola and fruit bar businesses as well,” he said.
Additionally, KIND is targeting new snacking occasions such as breakfast. The company is also launching two breakfast bar flavors - dark chocolate cocoa and almond butter - both containing 8g of protein and made with 100% whole grains.
“Our thinking on [the expansion] is the brand has a lot of equity with consumers, and the idea is always making better-for-you products that taste great,” Wheeler said.
KIND’s sales have been increasing continuously for the past six years with a 19% annual growth rate on average. The company is expected to maintain that growth momentum in 2018.