Special K’s Nourish Bars Finally Get It (almost) Right

Special K Nourish Bars

Kellogg’s new line of bars – K Nourish Multi-grain with Quinoa – is entering a highly competitive market with hundreds of choices for consumers to make. To its benefit is the Special K brand recognition. To its detriment – the Special K brand recognition in health circles – where we’ve long known that the focus on low calories came at a price – long lists of highly processed filler ingredients.

That’s why we were pleasantly surprised to see that Nourish went for a less processed approach. They still tack on a laundry list of fortifications of vitamins to the product, but there are no warning flag ingredients present. Here is the list for the Cranberry Almond flavor:

Whole grain blend (whole grain oats, whole grain wheat, whole grain barley, whole grain quinoa), dried invert cane syrup, roasted almonds, sweetened dried cranberries (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), toasted soy pieces, whey protein concentrate, chicory root fiber, soy protein isolate, pear puree concentrate, brown rice syrup, cracked flaxseed, vegetable oil (palm and canola), contains 2% or less of tricalcium phosphate,coconut, sea salt, citric acid, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), iron (ferrous fumarate), vitamin E (a-tocopheryl acetate), niacinamide, natural flavor, zinc oxide, soy lecithin, spice extractives for freshness, orange oil, vitamin A palmitate, Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin D, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), folic acid, vitamin K1, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate).

The protein is bumped up, using soy pieces and whey protein concentrate. The fiber (5 grams) is impressive, due to added chicory root (the farting fiber). But if you compare to some of Special K’s previous bars, there are no hydrogenated oil, less sugar per 100 grams, and no artificial colorings, sweeteners, or flavors.

We also like the calorie count.

At 170, it’s almost twice the previous bars (90 calories). So why are we happy?

Because, those 90-calorie bars were a scam. You would eat them and be hungry again 30 minutes later. A slightly larger bar, with more protein and healthy fats can leave you satiated and temptation free for a much longer period of time.

Comparing Nourish to Larabar or Kind, we’d still choose the latter, because they use even better ingredients and don’t tack on the added vitamins and fiber to make their product seem healthier. But this is a good step for Kellogg’s in the right direction, and we want to acknowledge that.

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  • kfay

    I’m concerned that quinoa is becoming so popular. I’ve read that the increase in demand is damaging the ecosystems where it grows. Does anyone know if this is still true, or can it be sustainable?

  • Kathy

    except that as an estrogen-positive breast cancer survivor, the amount of soy in here is a little alarming, especially soy lecithin and soy protein isolate on top of actual “soy pieces”.