Kind Bars – Yes, They Use Palm Oil


I reached for a snack in my ex-employer’s kitchen recently.  I obviously looked for palm oil on the ingredients label.  Sure enough, it’s there.  What else is new?!  Its in over 50% of our products.

I fired off my usual stern palm oil warning to the company:


Your label indicates your company uses the evil known as palm oil.  Please tell me from where your company sources its palm oil.

The unchecked demand for palm oil is destroying the world’s “lungs.” This demand for palm oil leads to:

1.  The destruction of rainforests;

2.  The death (and torture) of critically endangered species who inhabit it, like the orangutan, Sumatran tiger, pygmy elephant in Southeast Asia, etc. — and now chimpanzees and gorillas in Central Africa, not to mention other species in South American (Brazil and Peru);

3.  The displacement of human inhabitants who depend on the rainforest for sustenance;

4.  The enslavement of the poor in atrocious plantation working conditions;

5.  The exacerbation of global warming.

 Does KIND feel it is doing right for the world it is handing over to future generations?!

Here’s their response:

Thank you for contacting KIND and for providing us with your valuable input concerning palm kernel oil. It is always important to hear from our customers, and we appreciate the time you’ve taken to write to us.

At KIND, we also share your concern about environmental practices and I am pleased to inform you that our palm kernel oil provider is a certified member of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil).

We use palm kernel oil in the bars containing chocolate or yogurt, because it keeps those coatings from melting during transport and is a healthier alternative to hydrogenated oils that contain higher levels of saturated fat.  It is also non-GMO.

Thank you again for your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions in the future.

KIND Regards,


Customer Experience Representative


1-855-884-KIND (5463)

Being a member of the RSPO means nothing to me.  On this Earth Day (though every day is Earth Day to me), I’d like to point out that deforestation has DOUBLED in recent years despite the RSPO.  And 60 to 70 percent of deforestation is due to illegal activities (Source:  The recent VICE episode on HBO about palm oil and its threat to “cheap” rainforest land and critically endangered species who live there, like the beloved orangutan)  — and some of that illegal palm oil is bought by mega-corporations, who do not verify their OWN supply chain always.

So I fired back another email:

Pardon me, but the RSPO is little more than a “greenwashing” organization run by greedy palm oil companies looking to hide their environmental atrocities under the guise of environmental stewardship.
I do not believe your company uses sustainable palm 0il, because there is no such thing as sustainable palm oil…yet.  Do you get it from Indonesia/Malaysia, or from South America or Central Africa? From where do you source it?
I will post your response on my palm oil blog and continue to urge a boycott of all products that use palm oil, unless you can convince me otherwise.

I have yet to receive a response.  But I couldn’t help but notice that a “Communications Manager” at KIND (name withheld) has recently checked out my LinkedIn profile.  I guess KIND has absolutely no response that will placate and alleviate my very real concern.

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31 Responses to Kind Bars – Yes, They Use Palm Oil

  1. esperanza rodriguez says:

    Thank you for your information about the Roundtable. No more Evilbars for me.

  2. Kimberly Leo says:

    Thank you for your continued work to prove there really is no such thing as Sustainable Palm Oil. I have included this blog post in my recent blog post.

  3. Anibal Rivera says:

    Dang they got me too! Crap I am upset for not even checking the label. Ugh. Oh well. I hate how people do not care about our environment and just go on business as usual. It truly is out of site, out of mind! I hate it and it both angers me and hurts me deeply from the inside. I talk to people about the environment and people honesty do not care. It is a shame and it is all because of us, humans, collectively! I wish I was part of the solution!

  4. Alexandria says:

    I love this blog. Thank you for sharing this valuable consumer information. It needs to get out into the open where palm oil comes from and the destruction its harvesting leaves in wake. May I please share?

  5. Denise says:

    I just bought 2 boxes of a new bar product called Curate. I don’t see palm oil on the ingredient list but it’s possible I’m missing something? Have you seen these? What are the words to look for other than palm oil?

  6. Mikala Willey says:

    Hi there, I recently bought a couple of Kind bars and was so excited while I was eatig the first one because they are so good… just as I was about to text my husband and let him know to check them out, I turned the bar over to read the ingrediants and bam! Palm Oil 😡 I let out a loud ahhhh and dissappointedly threw out the rest of the bars. I’m glad to see you have tried to contact them about this and that you did not take their “it’s sustainable” bs… you have a “perfect” email… would you mind if I use these two when I contact businesses about their use of palm oil??

  7. Kristina Tan says:

    Thank you for posting this and asking the company for a response. I was shocked that a company called “kind” of all word, uses such a damaging ingredient in some of their products. It’s disgraceful!

  8. Thank you so much for doing this research. I only recently became aware of the devastating harm caused by palm oil manufacturing. It is heartbreaking. And, so many companies that are supposed to be sustainable and “conscious” use it! I truly appreciate your efforts to hold companies accountable. I will be switching to another bar.

  9. Jeffery Vautour says:

    Keep fighting the good fight. We all need people like you! I was going to it but KIND bars for snacks for my drive across the country but now I am not.

  10. Linda says:

    Thank you for posting this. I will no longer buy these!!!

  11. VictoriaF says:

    Thanks so much for this – I’ve used your emails as input to my own, will immediately stop buying these bars and also raise awareness of those I know to do the same.

  12. Shirley Lee says:

    Trader Joe’s seems to be full of snacks made with palm oil: inca nuts, plantain chips, rice crackers…Have you contacted them about their use of palm oil?

  13. Simi Hussain says:

    Thank you so much for putting this out here.. it is such a relief to know that Kind is “kind” to our environment and our animal friends!

    • Hmmm. Not sure you catch my drift — Kind relies on their RSPO ties. And as I state in my blog piece, “Pardon me, but the RSPO is little more than a “greenwashing” organization run by greedy palm oil companies looking to hide their environmental atrocities under the guise of environmental stewardship.” I was in NO WAY commending Kind (yet).

      • Simi Hussain says:

        Oh no.. I might have completely missed my the point in my emotional state of mind… I’m sick to my stomach now! Thanks for correcting my assumption!

      • Simi Hussain says:

        Actually now that I scrolled to re read it.. I completely skipped the part after their letter! 😣

      • Simi Hussain says:

        Oh no.. I might have completely missed my the point in my emotional state of mind… I’m sick to my stomach now! Thanks for correcting my assumption!.. and now that I scrolled back to read it again it seems I competely skipped the part after their letter! 😣

  14. Peter Nevins says:

    Thanks for this. Their response was beautifully crafted- I was ready to let it go, until I read your response to thiers. I’m sure I’m on your side. Dammit.

    • I never heard back (despite seeing Kind employees checking out my Linkedin profile). Companies rely on, and hide behind, the greenwashing aspect of RSPO certification. That MIGHT mean something to me if I didn’t already know that there is TRULY SUSTAINABLE palm oil out there but the RSPO simply is not part of it. (See Dr. Bronner’s Soaps; they truly care!) Indonesia is so corrupted that I can’t trust anything the RSPO says.

  15. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for this post and for your activism! I am wondering your opinion on selective purchases vs. entire brand boycotts…for example, some of the KIND bars that don’t have chocolate or yogurt in them don’t have palm kernel oil listed as an ingredient. Do you think this makes a difference at all? Or do you think that purchasing those products without palm oil doesn’t really make a difference since the brand as a whole still uses it? This is my dilemma….I’m leaning towards the opinion that a brand that uses palm oil is still a brand that uses palm oil, whether in only some products or in all of them…. Would love your thoughts on this. Thanks!

    • I think it’s a question of not wanting to support a company that would knowingly use palm oil, period, even if that meant some of their products do and some don’t contain them. I think we are more powerful by saying we just won’t support their brand at all. That way they don’t have the satisfaction of knowing we might support their other products.

  16. Judy Clark says:

    Go on, click on “about” and “the problem with palm oil”. They say there is no sustainable palm oil in Indonesia. Greenpeace has done extensive research into RSPOs – they are bull – the three major billionaire palm oil plantation corporations cannot even trace their sources because the product gets mixed together along the chain. The govt. is corrupt and cowtows to these corporations while pretending to issue them permits only on already deforested land. (conveniently logged illegally). Meanwhile, the plantations are closing in on the meager land set aside for orangutan sanctuary and butchering any orangutans that wander onto the plantations….Kind needs to find another oil.

    • Yes, I have argued repeatedly on this blog that there really is no such thing as “sustainable” palm oil, especially via the RSPO. But some companies, like Dr. Bronner’s and Palm Done Right grow theirs on sustainable farms in South America and Ghana.

  17. Andrea says:

    Wow! I ignorantly believed there was such a thing as sustainable palm oil. Thank you for this info, no more KIND bars for me. Back to making my own. 😦

  18. lisa says:

    Thank you for your work, I have just started at a large corporate and we have Kind Bars provided in the kitchen for free. I want to connect with the relevant person to switch to other bars. Eat natural is an option, however, in their 3 yogurt covered bars they use palm oil that is also meant to be sustainable – do you have any insight on them, or any alternatives I can recommend? Thank you

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