Snickers Just Ate Your Kind Bar: Mars Buys Kind and We’re Kind of Sad
You know how everyone has their favorite "good" company and their favorite "bad" company? Here's how it works for me: When I eat a Kind Bar I always feel kind of virtuous. It's not an apple, for sure, but it's certainly healthier than, say, the classic candy bars that I used to love as a kid: Snickers and Milky Way and 3 Musketeers. Those are "bad" because they are full of sugar and not-so-healthy-for you ingredients. Well, now those traditional candy bars can cozy on up to the more modern, kinder, gentler bar, since as of now, they are sisters. Mars just announced its acquisition of Kind North America, for an estimated $5 billion, according to a news report, and to my ears it was no more shocking than if Nestle or Kraft came along and bought Beyond or Impossible, though at the rate these plant-based meat alternative companies are growing, it's more like they will be the fish that swallows the whale someday.
Back to candy, chocolate, and virtuous sounding snacks. It's not that I was under any true delusion about the virtuosity of the carbs, calories and protein in the Kind Bar lineup. But with over 8 grams of protein in some products and less than 5 grams of sugar in others, the array of bars, granolas, clusters, and vegan options kept me feeling good about indulging the Kind way. I didn't even have to bike for hours to just grab one and munch. This was clean food.
It just felt better to pick that than an old school bar. Or shall we talk M&Ms? As a member of my high school ski team, we would buy the biggest bag we could and eat them on the way home from the mountain, popping them like they were blueberries without a care in the world for the calories. Later in college I got smart and added peanut M&Ms to my repertoire, figuring that at least I was getting some protein with my sugary fix. Enter grown-up desk-job reality and suddenly I couldn't eat chocolate and burn it off with 2 to 3 hours of crew or skiing or a long run every day. So instead I curtailed the childish sweet tooth and allowed myself a "virtuous" treat in the form of a nutty, chocolate layered Kind bar. It was better for me and better for the planet. but now what? Is it just time to go back to Milky Ways? Will Kind revert to being just one more bar in the pantheon of terrible-for-you sweet treats? Or will Mars leave it alone and jettison itself into the 21st century with this addition to its stable? Time will tell, but honestly, I Kind of thought you were better than that.
For the full story on the acquisition, check Food Business News, an interesting read even for those of us who aren't in the business, but love to eat.