FDA Asked to Restrict Nutrient Claims on Food

KIND Healthy Snacks filed a petition to the FDA to update how it regulates nutrient content claims on food products.

March 18, 2019

WASHINGTON D.C. – KIND Healthy Snacks, known for its bars with nuts, grains and dried fruit, wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to update how food products claim nutrient content on its labels.

According to Food Dive, the regulation currently examines the quantity of a nutrient in the food and not the quality. Kind claims that this "enables food marketers to put these claims on unhealthy products."

KIND filed a petition and is urging the FDA to only permit these nutritional claims on products that have a "meaningful amount of at least one health-promoting food," like vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, seeds or nuts.

“Nutrient content claims, such as 'good source of fiber' or 'excellent source of protein,' are found on the front of food packaging and often abused on empty calorie foods," KIND Founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky told Food Dive in an email. "After consulting with foremost health and nutrition experts, we decided now was the time to act."

Food Dive says that companies are “hoping to take advantage” of consumers who reach for products with nutritional claims. KIND argues that cereals, snacks and frozen foods misuse nutrient content and leave out less healthy aspects.

A survey from Label Insight found that 53% of U.S. consumers would be prompted to buy a product with the word “natural” on the label. Fifty-one percent of consumers were influenced by the term “no preservatives,” as well as other terms like “low sugar,” “free range,” and “no high fructose corn syrup.”

The FDA is currently in the middle of an internal transition, but the first meeting of the committee that takes place later this month will consider 2020 updates to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans—so it’s good timing on KIND’s part to invoke change.