NEW YORK — Kind Healthy Snacks has created a website detailing the amount and type of sweeteners included in popular snack bars, cereal, granola and yogurt products. The database contains nutritional information on items from General Mills, Kellogg Co., Mondelez, as well as smaller food producers.
"There are more than 100 different names and types of sweeteners and sugar sources out there. Many of these are still foreign to me, and there's no doubt that consumers are also confused," says Daniel Lubetzky, founder & CEO of Kind. "When some of the top-selling snacks many people believe to be healthy have a similar sugar profile as a dessert, that's a problem. People deserve to know what they're eating."
Kind’s newly created website www.sweetenersuncovered.com includes a “national snacking index,” sweetener guide and the company’s commitment to sugar reduction. The snack company hopes the resource will push other food businesses to become more transparent about the ingredient they use and educate consumers about the ingredient that can go by many names.
The “national snacking index” offers information on 20 snack bars, 10 cereals, 10 granolas and 10 yogurts. When a user clicks on a product, they will find the amount and varieties of sugar used in the product per serving.
Hoping to clear up confusion about the range of sugars used and their definitions, the company developed an introductory guide to sweeteners as well.
“While peoples' focus surrounding sweeteners is increasing, there's little understanding of how to identify them on food labels," says Stephanie Csaszar, registered dietitian and health & wellness expert at Kind. "How can we expect consumers to know that hydrogenated starch is a mixture of sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and maltitol or that sucanat is a less-refined version of cane sugar? Through this effort, we aim to bring greater awareness to the 100+ name variations and types of sweeteners and sugar sources found in foods that individuals might not realize they're consuming daily."
Within the website, the section “sweeteners go by many names” lists 99 varieties of sweeteners and gives a brief overview of how ingredients are sourced and applied in formulations.
Kind is also using a popup shop in New York from April 10-11 to promote the educational tool. The 'Sweeteners Uncovered' installation will highlight the sugar content of popular snacks and reveal less commonly known sweeteners that are used to create snacks.