Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Less Inspired Healthy Snack: Special K Sweet & Salty Popcorn Chips Leave Me Unimpressed.

The Good: Fairly healthy.
The Bad: Comparatively expensive, Not terribly flavorful.
The Basics: Special K’s Sweet & Salty Popcorn Chips are a less impressive way to stay fit.

Now that my wife and I have started to eat healthy again, I have a whole bevy of healthy snacks around the house. Following my consideration of the Special K Honey Barbecue Cracker Chips (reviewed here!), I now find myself investigating a far less interesting Special K chip. It is the Sweet & Salty Popcorn Chips and they are one of the less inspired entries into the health food snack market that I have yet encountered.

The nutritional benefits of these chips are negligible, especially for the expense.


Sweet & Salty Special K Popcorn Chips, for those who are not familiar with them, are something right between crackers and snack chips. They are reminiscent of small, thin rice cakes or white corn tortilla chips and are very light. Special K has marketed their Special K Popcorn Chips chip line as an alternative to fattier, saltier chips and rice cakes. These are not actually flavorful enough to compete, but they come close and they are expensive for what they are. The chips look like little triangular chips that are slightly curved and almost all of them in our box were broken (at least at the tips).

Sweet & Salty Special K Popcorn Chips come in a 4.5 oz. box. With the 28 g serving size representing 28 chips, the 4.5 oz. box has only about four and a half servings. The chips are triangular and about 1 3/4” on each side. They are white and they have a similar lightness (both in color and mass) to rice cakes.

Ease Of Preparation

Special K Popcorn Chips Sweet & Salty are simple to enjoy; all you need do it open the bag inside the box and remove the chips from it! There is no trick to eating Sweet & Salty Special K Popcorn Chips; they are a snack that is ready to go from the bag to the mouth.


Sweet & Salty Special K Popcorn Chips smell like fresh popped popcorn with just a hint of butter. It is actually uncanny how close to popcorn these chips smell and somewhat unnerving considering the shape and feel of them. They might fool the nose, but not any of the other senses!

As for the taste, the initial flavor is sweet in the most generic and, oddly, flavorless way. The thin layer of sugary glaze quickly turns salty and the light salty flavor, while not as spicy or distinctive as the salt on many forms of chips, it endures a ridiculously long time on these chips! In fact the saltiness never fully fades in order to allow the popcorn and butter flavor to truly dominate the palate. Instead, these chips settle on salty and vaguely corny before they become a mush that one wants to get out of their mouth.

These chips have a slight, sweet and dry aftertaste, though it is not unpleasant and only lasts for about thirty seconds.


Sweet & Salty Special K Popcorn Chips are a moderately healthy snack. The main ingredients are milled corn, canola oil, and sugar with nothing unpronounceable or weird in them. I was a little more surprised to note that the shelf life of these chips is very short; the box we bought in late April expired at the end of May!

Each twenty-eight gram serving of Special K Popcorn Chips Sweet & Salty has 120 calories, twenty of which come from fat. There is less than a gram of dietary fiber. While there are 2.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein, there is a surprisingly light 105 mg of sodium, which represents 4% of one's RDA of sodium. There are no other significant nutrients in this snack. There is a dietary note that the Sweet & Salty chips include milk ingredients, which prevents them from being Vegan compliant or gluten-free.


Kept in their bag in the box, Sweet & Salty Special K Popcorn Chips will remain fresh for only a couple of weeks and as long as the bag is resealed, one suspects they will last for a few days before getting stale. Honestly, I’m not sure how one would recognize one of these as stale as they have a little “give” to them even when they are fresh!

Cleanup is simple as well. Sweet & Salty Special K Popcorn Chips are a dry food and thus leave no mess behind. I advocate recycling the box, but otherwise, there is really nothing special one needs to do for clean-up!


Sweet & Salty Special K Popcorn Chips less impressive than the other Special K salty snacks I have tried and are impossible to recommend as a result.

For other Kellogg’s foods, check out my reviews of:
Krave Double Chocolate Cereal
Special K Fruit & Yogurt Cereal
Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidants Cinnamon Oat Crunch Cereal


For other food and drink reviews, please visit my Food And Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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