Although there is a well-defined trend towards health and wellness, with other major food companies including Mars and Nestle establishing divisions, Kellogg seems to be playing it safe by building on a brand that is already synonymous with healthier eating amongst consumers.
But Kellogg's approach to health and wellness does not seem to be just about the products, but about positioning too. It is seeking to build the healthy aspect by extending it into the pharmacy aisles of grocery stores and taking it into drug stores, where it will find a home in the diet and nutrition sections.
According to Mark Baynes, senior VP marketing at Kellogg's Morning Foods Division, retail acceptance of the new products in the new locations has been "extremely positive".
Special K has long been marketed as a cereal for the weight conscious. Baynes said: "These new… products can help consumers stay on track throughout the day as they pursue their shape-management programs."
No company spokesperson was available to NutraIngredients-USA.com's inquiry as to why they chose specifically to fortify the products with protein, rather than other nutrients that have been shown to aid weigh management. Nor was anyone at the company able to confirm exactly when the health and wellness division was established.
However it seems that raising its healthy profile has not necessarily been dependant on having a dedicated division.
Indeed, the company's website claims that health and nutrition were guiding principles of founder WK Kellogg back in 1903.
More recent efforts in the direction have included the Get In Step cereal and exercise initiative, which began last fall.
And last summer Kellogg was already occupying the top spot in the food bar market, according to MarketResearch.com, with an 18.09 percent share.
Kellogg is also understood to be developing omega-3 fortified products, following a license and supply agreement struck with Martek Biosciences, whose DHA is derived from microalgae. The first products are expected to be introduced in 2007.