Kind bars have lots of almonds and that means they have too much saturated fat according to the FDA. In a nine page March 2015 warning letter, the FDA told Kind, “You should take prompt action to correct the violations.” They even said Kind might have to remove its bars from supermarket shelves.
But now the FDA has changed its mind…sort of.
Without making any nutritional claims, Kind can use the word healthy if it is philosophical.
Where are we going? To a new definition of healthy.
Healthy Food Labels
Our definition of a healthy diet has changed during the last 60 years.
From 1961 to 1999 we became increasingly concerned with saturated fat and cholesterol:
But then in 2014, sugar hit the headlines and our total fat worries declined:
As a result, the FDA has new food labeling requirements that tell us more about the sugar content of our food. For a 20-ounce can of Coca-Cola, the new “added sugars” line could be as high as 130%.
Our Bottom Line: Competition
Since a “healthy” food label helps certain firms compete, the FDA definition of healthy can determine the ingredients that manufacturers include in our food.
So, if you look at a market structure continuum (below), competition decreases and a firm’s power goes up as you move to the right. But still, because of food labels, the FDA can influence how Coke, Kellogg’s and other oligopolies compete.
Like Kind, they too will care how we define healthy.
Competitive Market Structure Continuum