>>consumers and buyers give their views on the latest launches

Special K Lite Bites
From: Kellogg

Kellogg is moving its Special K breakfast cereal brand into the savoury snacking market with this trio of corn snacks in Cheese, Tikka and Sundried Tomato & Basil flavours

Price: 39p-49p for a 28g bag, £1.99 for a six-pack

Total score: 29/50
consumer’s verdict
Ray Smith, 43, Interior designer, London
I associate the Special K brand with dieting, breakfast cereals and sweet tastes, so it was a surprise to see corn snacks and savoury flavours.
The name Special K takes up about half the packs so it seems obvious that Kellogg is trying to appeal to people who are concerned with healthier eating. I do think about these things but the thoughts don’t usually put me off buying a bag of crisps.
I would say the savoury flavours are aimed more at men than women but Special K appeals more to women, so this could be a bit confusing.
Tastewise, the Sundried Tomato and Basil flavour was better than I’d expected but I wasn’t keen on the Tikka option. The cheese flavour was OK, but not strong enough to tempt me away from my usual Cheese and Onion.
Score: 13/25
buyer’s verdict
Chris Suggett, senior buyer, bells stores
Some lower fat snacks do well in our stores but light crisps don’t perform as well as they should. Sometimes they seem to be a token gesture.
My initial thought about these was ‘Oh no, not another one’. The branding on pack is huge and would make consumers think automatically of breakfast cereals and sweeter flavours.
Health-conscious consumers don’t necessarily shop the crisps fixture and I don’t know what they’ll make of the savoury tastes if the packs are merchandised with cereal bars.
Their success is likely to depend on Kellogg’s merchandising options - clips might be useful - as well as its £3m marketing support.
Because of the investment we will probably list them but the price point is up to 25% higher than other snacks and that could prove a problem.
Score: 16/25Hearty’s Soy Nuts and Soy Crunchies, launched last December, are aimed at snackers seeking a tasty and healthy alternative to mainstream nuts, crisps and snacks.
Following a visit to a trade show about three years ago, Paul Mercer, joint founder of manufacturer Harvey Mercer, came up with the idea for the products after sampling some “great tasting” nuts and then realising what a healthy product they were.
The range consists of two lines, Soy Nuts - available in Salted, Barbecue and Chocolate flavours - and Soy Crunchies which are available in a Sour Cream and Onion flavour.
Both lines are non-GM, gluten and cholesterol free and claim the extra health benefits come from the soy protein and isoflavones - a naturally occurring component of soy beans.
“With greater awareness of poor diets, particularly in children, and the increasing problems found with HRT treatments, more and more people are looking to soy,” says Mercer.
Currently sold by Waitrose, Boots and a raft of health food stores, trial is also under way in Holland & Barrett.
As well as those listings, the specialist food company has also added three export markets and has “others in the pipeline”.
Harvey Mercer, which claims to be the only soy food specialist in Europe, is planning to introduce a further 15 products across four ranges by the end of this year.