Yesterday, Kellogg’s Special K launched a new campaign and tools to accompany their weight-loss challenge in an apparent effort to reposition the brand. In addition to the cereal, Special K foods include bars, crackers, chips, water mixes and protein shakes. The Special K Challenge has not changed nutritionally, but now the site and mobile app provide those who sign up with more tools to track their weight loss and stay accountable.
A new angle of the campaign is to help women feel more “body confidant” and in control of their weight. However, both Special K products and the Special K Challenge have come under criticism by health experts. The challenge itself can be extremely low in calories, consisting of two Special K meal replacements, two Special K snacks and one healthy meal per day. The current campaign is focusing on messages of empowerment and long-term health, rather than simply focusing on the scale. Although such a message is noble, the company seems to be trying to position these products as part of a long-term weight management program, when really the Special K Challenge is a crash diet that’s low on nutritional value. Although fairly low-calorie, most Special K products contain high amounts of sugar and are generally too processed for us to considered them really healthy.