A typical candy bar can consist of nuts covered in chocolate. But add fruit to it, and that candy bar is suddenly a “healthy” alternative.
Ad Age reports that Mars Chocolate North America, responsible for sweets such as Twix, Snickers, Dove and M&Ms, will be releasing just such a snack bar in August. The move comes as Mars’ chief rival, Hershey’s, has a similar product already on store shelves.
Designed to resemble the popular Kind brand of fruit and nut bars, both the Mars version, sold under the name Goodnessknows, and the Hershey’s variety, branded as Brookside, will contain fruit and nuts. And, yes, chocolate.
The Goodnessknows bars advertise that they contain 150 calories each and are made without artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors. To promote the health angle further, the bar is split into four individual pieces, which “allows you to control your portion,” as marketing vice president Berta De Pablos-Barbier tells Ad Age.
The Brookside bars also advertise their lack of artificial flavors and the inclusion of real fruits as well as being a “good source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, E.”
This push to be the next health thing is sweeping the food industry, especially fast-food chains and junk-food brands.
The Guardian reported on Tuesday that Taco Bell will phase out its use of “black pepper flavor” when seasoning its beef and replace it with the real thing. The company is also halting its use of a number of dyes, including Yellow No. 6 in nacho cheese and Blue No. 1 in its avocado ranch dressing. Taco Bell faced some heat back in 2011 when it was revealed that the company’s “beef” was really more of a beef-like product.
Pizza Hut, which is owned by the same company as Taco Bell, Yum Brands Inc., also announced that preservatives and artificial colors would no longer be present in its products by the end of July.
In 2016, Panera plans on following suit by ridding its menu of preservatives, artificial flavors and sweeteners. Chipotle announced in April that it will be eliminating GMOs from its kitchens entirely. Meanwhile, McDonald’s also said that it would not sell chicken or milk treated with human antibiotics any longer. And in a related move, the dye that makes Kraft Mac & Cheese that bright orangey color will be replaced by annatto, paprika and turmeric come January.
While these products may be healthier, it doesn’t mean they are all that healthy. Even Kind bars faced some issues with the FDA over the manufacturer’s misleading claim that the bars are “healthy.” Turns out, the amount of saturated fat in Kind bars actually exceeds the FDA’s health standard.
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