Target has vowed to remove all artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup from all its branded products targeted at this demographic, including fruit snacks, granola bars, animal cracks and readymade meals like macaroni and cheese.
Currently, about 75% of the kids’ foods sold under Target’s Market Pantry and Simply Balanced labels meet these criteria.
The move is part of Target's Corporate Social Responsibility commitments, which also include increasing organic food offerings and creating more sustainable packaging for their own branded products.
The Minneapolis-based retailer has found itself in an ongoing pricing war with Walmart and Kroger and vowed earlier this year to make price cuts a top priority in 2017.
Hy-Vee makes the move, too
Last month, Hy-Vee was another retailer to take the step to remove artificial ingredients as part of its Clean Honest Ingredients label initiative.
The employee-owned chain of more than 240 supermarkets located throughout the US Midwest is ditching 200 artificial ingredients from its branded products, including high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs).
The change will affect approximately 1,000 Hy-Vee labels on products ranging from its branded almond butter, tortilla chips and ketchup.
The company hopes to complete the process by next July.
In 2015, Aldi removed certified synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated oils and MSG from its own Simply Nature range in the US, followed by General Mills that made a commitment to eliminate artificial colors and flavors from its cereals. And last year, Panera Bread joined the fray, pledging to remove all artificial ingredients from its Panera at Home packaged food line.
NPD roundup of snacks for kids: What’s new instore this month
Quinoa for kids
Kidease has been launched in the UK, offering on-the-go snacks for children aged one year and older.
The brand has launched with Kidease puff snacks, corn-based puffs with added plant-based protein, chickpea and quinoa. Approved by expert nutritionists, the snack contains no added salt or sugar, are naturally high in fibre and protein, and are also gluten and dairy free.
Kidease puff snacks are available in two flavors - Carrot, Tomato, Herbs & Spices and Beetroot, Carrot & Parsley – in 20g packs for a RRP £0.80 ($1.03) from Ocado.
Kidease plans to introduce further snacks for toddlers later this year.
NurturMe, the US ‘Tummy Friendly’ baby food brand, has extended its product portfolio with snacks designed to support digestive health in little ones.
The products are easily digestible and free from common allergens that can upset little bellies – including gluten, dairy, soy and egg. The manufacturer has also added a daily recommended dose of vegan probiotics to its ancient grain-based cereals and snacks.
The gluten-free Tummy Friendly toddler snacks are being debuted in Target stores across the country this month and in Kroger stores in the fall.
NuturMe’s Organic Quinoa Cereals, 100% Quinoa Square and Ancient Grain Cookies are sold in over 5,000 US stores nationwide and also online, at a cost of £3.99-£5.75 ($5.13-$7.40) per pack.
RXBAR Kids snack bars have been designed with little ones who are constantly on-the-go in mind. They’re gluten- and dairy-free and contain no added sugar nor preservatives.
The 52 g RXBAR Kids bars deliver 7 g of protein and only clean ingredients – including egg whites, fruits and nuts.
To stay true to the brand's whole-ingredient promise, the 12 additions that flavor the bars are also clean, like 100% cacao and sea salt.
The RXBAR Kids Variety pack is available at Target and online, containing six Chocolate Chip bars, five Berry Blast bars and five Apple Cinnamon Raisin bars for $26.
Organix produces a range of foodstuffs for babies, toddlers and kiddies that come with a No Junk Promise.
The Bournemouth, UK-based manufacturer has a strong opinion about what makes for good food and believes food companies should only sell foods for children that are nutritionally sound, and never harmful.
It produces a range of organic products for different age groups, including corn puffs, rice cakes, biscuits and cereals for babies (6-7 months); crispy bars, puffcorn, savouries, biscuits, oaty bars and fruitsnacks for toddlers (12 months); and 23 g Punk’d Oaty Bars in Strawberry & Vanilla and Cocoa & Orange for older kids.
Available from all the major retailers and independent shops in the UK, as well as on Amazon at various RPP.