Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Good Alternative To Cheddar Chips, Special K Cheddar Cracker Chips Are Still Only Average.

The Good: Exceptionally healthy
The Bad: Not nearly as flavorful as I anticipated, Comparatively expensive
The Basics: Despite being very healthy, Special K’s Cheddar Cracker Chips are surprisingly underwhelming on the flavor front.

I’ve been snacking healthier these days, as is evidenced by my review of the Special K Southwest Ranch cracker chips (reviewed here!). Enjoying them more than I would have thought, I decided to pick up another flavor. In the case of chips, me and cheese go together like peanut butter and marshmallow fluff! So, I picked up the Special K Cheddar cracker chips and a rare thing happened. I was disappointed. Just as sometimes I figure something will be absolutely incredible and am disappointed, there are rare times when I go for a preferred flavor and discover another flavor I usually do not like as much is done better by a brand. The most prominent example that comes to mind for me is when I reviewed Nestles Caramel hot chocolate (here!) and discovered it was better than their mint cocoa (reviewed here!).

In a similar fashion, the Southwest Ranch cracker chips from Special K are better than their Cheddar counterparts. In fact, only the nutritional benefits of these chips keep them from getting a whoppingly negative rating.


Cheddar Special K Cracker 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 and are very light. Special K has marketed their Special K Cracker Chips chip line as an alternative to fattier, saltier chips and rice cakes. They are actually just flavorful enough to compete, though these taste nothing like actual cheese! The Cheddar Special K Cracker Chips feature a dusting of cheddar powder on many of the chips. The chips look like little round chips that are slightly curved, almost like mini suction cups!

Cheddar Special K Cracker Chips come in a 4 oz. box. With the 30 g serving size representing 27 chips, the 4 oz. box has only about three and a half servings. The chips are round and pretty uniformly 1 7/8” in diameter. They are white with orange specks where the flavor powder is and they have a similar lightness to rice cakes.

Ease Of Preparation

Special K Cracker Chips Cheddar 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 Cheddar Special K Cracker Chips; they are a snack that is ready to go from the bag to the mouth.


Cheddar Special K Cracker Chips smell oddly like carrots. I swear. They do not smell salty or sour like one might expect from cheese and my association has nothing to do with the color; when I first tried these chips, I had my eyes closed. They smell like carrots . . . specifically, a carrot soup I had about fifteen years ago!

As for the taste, I’m not sure why Special K is trying to pass these off as cheddar. The chips that lack the surface appearance of the Cheddar flavor are, as they appear, problematically bland. Those chips taste like condensed ricecakes; light but mostly flavorless. They don’t even have a salty flavor to them!

As for the ones that are orange with the “cheddar powder,” they taste faintly sweet before the salt flavor overruns the tastebuds and then very promptly gives way to the bland ricecake flavor. The flavor transition on these chips happens lighting fast and within a second they just taste bland with an aftertaste that is slightly sour that passes through the mouth. These chips are powerfully bland and not at all even fake cheese flavored.


Cheddar Special K Cracker Chips are, as they are billed, a very healthy snack. The main ingredients are potatoes, potato starch and brown rice flour before the ingredients take a turn into the weird and chemical-sounding. I was a little more surprised to note that the shelf life of these chips is a little over eight months; the box we bought the first week of January was not set to expire until August.

Each thirty gram serving of Special K Cracker Chips Cheddar has 110 calories, twenty-five of which come from fat. There are also 3 grams of dietary fiber. While there are 2 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein, there is a whopping 230 mg of sodium, which represents 10% of one's RDA of sodium. There is a smattering of Calcium, Vitamin A and Iron, but nothing significant. There is a dietary note that the Cheddar includes milk, wheat and soy ingredients, which prevents them from being Vegan compliant or gluten-free.


Kept in their bag in the box, Cheddar Special K Cracker Chips will remain fresh for about seven month and as long as the bag is resealed, one suspects they will last for a few weeks 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. Cheddar Special K Cracker Chips are a dry food and thus leave no mess behind. Because they have the flavor crystals on them, though, they do leave a powdery residue when eaten in quantity. But, if you simply wash your hands and throw out the bag, cleanup is done! I advocate recycling the box, too.


Cheddar Special K Cracker Chips are a surprisingly bland snack option that might be healthy, but it is expensive and flavorless, making it a surprising failure from Kellogg’s!

For other foods, check out my reviews of:
Tostitos Hint Of Pepper Jack Corn Chips
Wonderful Pistachios
Peeled Organic Apricot-a-lot


For other food and drink reviews, please click here to visit my index page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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