(Reuters) - Kind LLC said on Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the snack bar maker permission to again use the term “healthy” on its packaging more than a year after it was removed at the regulator’s request.
The nut and granola bar company had asked the FDA to allow it to use the phrase “healthy and tasty” in text presented as part of its corporate philosophy and not as a nutrient content claim, the FDA said in a statement.
In a March 2015 warning letter addressed to Kind, the FDA underscored that foods labeled as healthy must contain less than three grams of total fat and less than one gram of saturated fat per serving, and that four varieties of Kind bars exceeded those limits.
After that warning, Kind made the labeling change to satisfy the FDA, but argued that fat from items like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains should not be counted in the fat gram tally.
The New York-based company filed a petition in December, asking the FDA to note the ever-evolving definition of what foods are considered “healthy” in the United States.
But Daniel Lubetzky, the Founder and CEO of Kind, said having the word back is not of the utmost importance to the brand.
“We might not even go back and change the wrappers,” Lubetzky told Reuters. He characterized the FDA’s action as a first step.
“What is really important is updating this regulatory definition to be current with science,” he said.
Lubetzky said he was originally concerned the FDA’s warning would hurt his company’s sales, but that they continued to grow for the next couple of months.
“If anything, what happened is that the nutrition community and consumers came to our aid and said this does not make sense,” said Lubetzky.
Reporting by Melissa Fares; editing by Anna Driver and G Crosse