Kellogg’s debuts new Special K Protein cereal flavor: Honey Almond Ancient Grains

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02 Jan 2019 --- Tapping into some strong trends such as protein, fiber and alternative grains, Kellogg’s has debuted its newest addition to the Special K Protein line, Honey Almond Ancient Grains. The cereal contains 15g of protein per serving, which increases to 21g when combined with three-quarters of a cup of skim milk.

Rolling onto shelves at the end of 2018, the new cereal includes whole grains as the first ingredient and a source of fiber. The Honey Almond Ancient Grains flavor features flakes made from a mix of whole grains including the ancient grains sorghum and black rice alongside the more common wheat and rice. The cereal is finished with honey and crunchy almonds.

The protein trend has shown no signs of stagnating over the past years, with strong NPD across a range of categories from senior nutrition, to sports nutrition and snacks. Big players are continuing to up the protein content of their products, such as Nestlé's flagship adult nClick to EnlargeKellogg’s has debuted its newest addition to the Special K Protein line, Honey Almond Ancient Grains. utrition drink, Boost. However, the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey found that the average UK adult consumes up to 55 percent more protein than they need.

Alternative grain products, such as ancient grains, have also been at the receiving end of rising consumer interest. The use of ancient grains in new product launches tracked globally continued to grow with a 23 percent CAGR over the past five years, as noted by Innova Market Insights. Launch numbers globally are highest in bakery, cereals and ready meals, but snacks also see significant levels of activity. Quinoa is the leading ingredient among ancient grains tracked.  

“When Special K hit shelves in the 1950s, it was the first cereal to feature key vitamins and nutrients, including protein,” says Christie Crouch, Special K Director of Marketing. “Today, we continue to look for ways to innovate that stay true to that heritage and do more with both nutrition and taste. That's why our new Protein cereal recipes include a nutrient bundle designed to help you get more from your protein.”

The cereals in the updated Special K Protein line, along with most of the meal bars, now include the “nutrient bundle” of magnesium, calcium and vitamin D alongside protein. 

The healthy positioning of the launch follows a string of wholesome offerings from Kellogg’s. Under the Kellogg’s Better Starts plan, sugar reduction came under the spotlight, with the sugar in Coco Pops being reduced from 30g to 17g per 100g. Salt levels in Rice Krispies were reduced by 10 percent, all children's promotions were also removed from Frosties cereal packaging and all Kellogg’s cereals now carry 50 percent of people’s daily vitamin D needs.  

Late in 2018, the company launched a “3-in-1” cereal aimed at making digestive wellness support easily accessible in food. The new wellness brand HI! Happy Inside delivers prebiotics, probiotics and fiber in an all-in-one cereal. The launch comes at a time when interest in digestive health seems only to continue to grow.   

The prebiotic aspect of HI! taps into the growing digestive health market, as does the Protein cereal range. Innova Market Insights data shows that it’s undergoing an NPD boom. This expansion is illustrated when we look at the diverse areas where growth in new product development is taking place. While dairy is still by far the largest category for digestive health claims, growth is very modest globally, with just 0.3 percent growth reported in terms of CAGR from 2012 to 2017.

Innova Market Insights has listed “A Fresh Look at Fiber” among its Top Ten Trends for 2019. Fiber holds increasing potential for manufacturers as an ingredient that can be added to products to throw in an extra dash of health and satiety. Due to its strong prebiotic value, consumers are increasingly recognizing the health benefits that a fibrous diet can bring – beyond keeping you regular. Click to EnlargeLate in 2018, Kellogg's launched a “3-in-1” cereal aimed at making digestive wellness support easily accessible in food.

Protein enhanced products
In October last year, a study conducted by consumer watchdog Behind the Label cast doubt on protein enhanced products on the market, highlighting that British consumers are often paying double or triple price for such products, despite the protein content of such products often being only marginally higher, the same or even less than in standard products.

The Behind the Label study compared products that were marketed as “protein” products and compared them with their non-enhanced counterparts

  • KP’s Fruit and Nut Protein Mix has 20g of protein per 100g and costs £2.25, while Sainsbury's Unsalted Mixed Nuts and Raisins has just 2g less of protein per 100g, and costs 63p.
  • The Collective Pro-Yo Berries High Protein Yogurt Pouch has 11.1g of protein per 100g and costs £1.08, while Arla Skyr Icelandic Style Yogurt – Pear, Apple and Cinnamon has 10g of protein and costs 50p.
  • New York Bakery Co Bagel Wholemeal has 9.8g of protein per bagel and costs 24p, while Warburtons Seeded Protein Thin Bagels has 8.5g per bagel and costs 35p.

“Most of us get more than enough protein in our everyday diet, and so it's not something that we need to think about supplementing too often,”comments Charlotte Stirling-Redd, Nutritionist. “However, for some, such as athletes, those training intensely, or very active individuals, they may have extra requirements for protein to support muscle growth and repair.” 

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