Editor’s Note: This story was written by Rachel Adams and first was published at Natural Products INSIDER, an Informa Exhibitions publication.
Late last month, FDA issued a warning letter to KIND LLC, stating that at least four of the company’s products do not meet the requirements to make the nutrient claims on the label.
FDA reviewed four KIND products in August 2014: KIND Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot; KIND Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut; KIND Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein; and KIND Plus Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants.
According to FDA’s warning letter, the products violated section 403 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C), and its implementing regulations 21 CFR 101.
The warning letter cited Kind’s website, which stated: "There's healthy. There's tasty. Then there's healthy and tasty"; and, "all of our snacks are pretty much the nirvana of healthful tastiness."
The warning letter noted, per 21 CFR 101.65(d)(2), that companies can use the term "healthy" as an implied nutrient content claim for food if, among other things, it is "low saturated fat"—the food has a saturated fat content of 1 g or less per Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC) and no more than 15 percent of the calories are from saturated fat. Several Kind products with healthy claims contained 2.5 to 5 g of saturated fat per 40 g of the food, according to the products' nutrition facts panel.
In addition, FDA determined KIND Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein product and its labeling, which included the nutrient content claim "antioxidant- rich dark chocolate," did not meet the requirements for use of the claim, per 21 CFR 101.54(g).
Among other requirements, in order to qualify for a "rich" or "high antioxidant" claim, the product must contain 20 percent or more of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for nutrients that have recognized antioxidant activity, such as vitamin C, vitamin E or beta carotene, per 21 CFR 101.54(b). Based on the information in the Nutrition Facts label, the KIND product contains 15 percent of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin E and 0 percent of vitamin C and vitamin A.
FDA also cited incorrect use of the claim, “good source of fiber," with regard to KIND’s Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot, Kind Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, Kind Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Kind Plus Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants products. Per 21 CFR 101.54(d), if a product label makes a claim with respect to the level of dietary fiber and is not "low" in total fat, then the label must disclose the level of total fat per serving.
Importantly, KIND reached out to consumers in an online response to FDA’s warning letter: “Our team at KIND is fully committed to working alongside the FDA, and we’re moving quickly to comply with its request. We’re also taking it upon ourselves to conduct a thorough review of all of our snack food labels and website information to ensure that they’re compliant."
The warning letter also cited incorrect use of the claim “no trans fat" and incorrect use of the “+" sign with regard to certain KIND products. View the entire FDA warning letter here. And to stay up to date on FDA’s notices and the most common violations, be sure to visit our Warning Letter Immersion Center.