The old saying, "You eat with your eyes first" has always ruled in high-end restaurant kitchens, but KIND has taken the concept into the snack aisle, showcasing their bars and granola in clear wrappers that lure in customers with options covered in dark chocolate drizzles, golden almonds, and ivory flakes of coconut. What's not to like?
But it turns out the wrappers are designed to reinforce one of the company’s most important tenets: transparency. All of KIND's products, from nut bars to granola, are non-GMO. The thinking behind only “ingredients you can see and pronounce” is that it will keep the products wholesome—and full of flavor.
Owner Daniel Lubetzky started the company back in 2004 when he became frustrated with the lack of healthy options to meet his afternoon protein fix. Unable to find what he was looking for, he decided to make his own snacks, starting with a line of fruit and nut bars.
More than a decade later, the company has 29 bar flavors, 8 granola clusters, and 10 granola bars.
Along with the fruit and nut bars that launched the brand, KIND also offers fortified versions with extra protein and antioxidants, plus a low-sugar nut and spice line with bars that contain 5 grams of sugar or less. (Ditching sugar is a major trend—and KIND's best-selling bar, the dark chocolate, nuts and sea salt bar, is from the low-sugar line.)
They’ve also flipped granola on its head, shying away from traditional oats and adding heaps of whole grains like quinoa and buckwheat.
Each month, the company asks their followers, whom they appropriately call “kind-aholics,” to vote on a "KIND Cause". From building playgrounds in low-income communities, to throwing birthday parties for homeless kids, or buying suitcases for foster kids, KIND donates $10,000 to a new cause every month.
Zahn knows companies often pull out their list of charitable causes as a way to gain goodwill, but she says at KIND, it really is the “heartbeat of the entire company.” Coming from a place that values transparency above all else, that message seems clear.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont