Kellogg’s Special K and Raisin Bran are popular cereals that are both marketed as healthy choices, but are they really that healthy, and which one should you choose when it comes to nutrition?
In this article, I’ve made a head-to-head comparison between both types of cereal to find out which is the best for various nutritional categories, as well as an ingredient and cost comparison.
Read on to find out everything you need to know and take part in our poll to tell our readers and us which is your favorite Special K or Raisin Bran.
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Ingredients Comparison – What’s the Difference?
The table below shows the ingredients for each type of cereal (as per pack information); as you can see, the key difference between Special K and Raisin Bran is that Special K is made from Rice and Raisin Bran is made from Whole Grain Wheat.
|Kellogg’s Special K Ingredients||Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Ingredients|
|Rice, wheat gluten, sugar, defatted wheat germ, contains 2% or less of salt, malt flavor, bht for freshness. Vitamins and minerals: reduced iron, vitamin c (ascorbic acid), niacinamide, vitamin e acetate, beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamin b6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin b1 (thiamin hydrochloride), vitamin b2 (riboflavin), vitamin d3, vitamin b12.||Whole grain wheat, raisins, wheat bran, sugar, brown sugar syrup. Contains 2% or less of malt flavor, salt.|
Special K Vs. Raisin Bran Nutritional Comparison
Moving onto the nutritional comparison, this will be based on a weight-for-weight comparison because a recommended serving of Raisin Bran weighs 20g more than a serving of Special K, however I’ll also include data per serving for information.
Data is based on Kellogg’s brand Origina Special K and Original Raisin Bran, with information taken from the manufacturer and the USDA.
Best for Calorie Content
When you compare Special K and Raisin Bran weight-for-weight, you can see that Special K contains more calories per weight than Raisin Bran.
Although Raisin Bran has more calories per recommended serving, but this is because a serving of Raisin Bran weighs more than a Serving of Special K.
|Cereal Type||Calories Per 100g||Calories Per Serving|
|Kellogg’s Special K||385kcal||150kcal (Per 39g Serving)|
|Kellogg’s Raisin Bran||322kcal||190kcal (Per 59g Serving)|
Best for Carbohydrate Content
Both Special K and Raisin Bran are high in Carbohydrates because of the ingredients they’re made from, but Special K is slightly lower in carbs (6g less) per 100g than Raisin Bran.
|Cereal Type||Carbohydrates Per 100g||Carbohydrates Per Serving|
|Kellogg’s Special K||74g||29g (Per 39g Serving)|
|Kellogg’s Raisin Bran||80g||47g (Per 59g Serving)|
Best for Sugar Content
When it comes to added sugar Raisin Bran is much higher in sugar than Special K with 17g per 59g serving when compared to a serving of Special K which contains 4g.
Weight-for-weight this means that Raisin Bran contains almost three times the sugar of Special K.
|Cereal Type||Sugars Per 100g||Sugars Per Serving|
|Kellogg’s Special K||10.3g||4g (Per 39g Serving)|
|Kellogg’s Raisin Bran||28.8g||17g (Per 59g Serving)|
Best for Protein Content
If protein content is a consideration for your diet, Special K is the better option in this category because if contains 9.5g more protein per 100g than Raisin Bran.
|Cereal Type||Protein Per 100g||Protein Per Serving|
|Kellogg’s Special K||18g||7g (Per 39g Serving)|
|Kellogg’s Raisin Bran||8.5g||5g (Per 59g Serving)|
Best for Fat Content
Both Special K and Raisin Bran are very low in fat and neither type of cereal contains any saturated fat per serving.
Raisin Bran contains slightly more fat than Special K per serving, however its important to note that this is a nominal amount.
The tables below show fat and saturated fat content per 100g of cereal and per recommended serving of each type of cereal.
|Cereal Type||Fat Per 100g||Saturated Fat per 100g|
|Kellogg’s Special K||1.3g||0g|
|Kellogg’s Raisin Bran||1.7g||0g|
Per Recommended Serving
|Cereal Type||Fat Per Serving||Saturated Fat per Serving|
|Kellogg’s Special K (Per 39g Serving)||0.5g||0g|
|Kellogg’s Raisin Bran (Per 59g Serving)||1g||0g|
If you need to consider your cholesterol intake, I can confirm there’s no cholesterol in either Kellogg’s Special K or Rasin Bran.
Best for Fiber Content
Fiber content is often one of the main considerations when choosing a breakfast cereal because its a good way to get towards the daily recommended amount.
When comparing Special K and Raisin Bran, the clear winner is Raisin Bran which contains more than Special K per serving.
Raisin Bran is made from Whole Grain which means it it’s a high fiber cearel, when compared to cereal made from rice or corn.
|Cereal Type||Dietary Fibre Per 100g||Dietary Fibre per Serving|
|Kellogg’s Special K||1.4g||<1g (Per 39g Serving)|
|Kellogg’s Raisin Bran||11.9g||7g (Per 59g Serving)|
Best for Sodium/Salt Content
In the category of sodium (or salt) content, Raisin Bran wins this category because it contains 70mg less sodium than Speical K per serving.
To put this into context of a daily value percentage, Special K contains 12% of the recommended daily intake compared to Raisin Bran which contains 9%.
|Cereal Type||Sodium/Salt Per 100g||Sodium/Salt per Serving|
|Kellogg’s Special K||667mg||270mg (Per 39g Serving)|
|Kellogg’s Raisin Bran||339mg||200mg (Per 59g Serving)|
Best for Vitamins/Minerals
Both Kellogg’s Special K and Raisin Bran are fortified breakfast cereals which mean they’ve had certain vitamins and minerals added to the ingredients to help consumers get towards their daily recommended nutrition values.
Although Raisn Bran is higher in certain vitamins and minerals including Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin D and Zinc, Special K is higher in more categories including Iron, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Niacin.
The table below shows a detailed comparison of the main vitamins and minerals:
|Vitamin/Mineral Type||Kellogg’s Special K||Kellogg’s Raisin Bran|
*mcg = microgram (1000th of a milligram) / mg = milligram (1000th of a gram)
Best for Flavor/Texture
When it comes to flavor and texture, this is a subjective category which I can’t judge, so I’m leave it for you to decide.
Everone has their favorite for flavor and when it comes to texture and crunch Special K and Raisin Bran are fairly similar.
Help us find a winner by voting for your favorite in the poll below and once you vote you’ll be able to see the results so far.
Best for Price
A family-sized pack of Special K weighs 18oz compared to a family-sized box of Raisin Bran which weighs 24oz, so instead of comparing pack sizes, I’ve calculated the price per ounce of each cereal to get a weight-for-weight comparison.
An 18oz pack of Special K costs $3.72, so the cost per ounce is $0.21, compared to a 24oz pack of Raisin Bran which costs $3.98, so the price per ounce is $0.17.
Based on this information (when writing this article in March 2022), Kelloggs Raisin Bran is cheaper than Kelloggs Special K when compared weight-for-weight.
Please note that this is based on an average cost, and prices may vary between various stores.
All results are in and I can announce a winner based on the winners of the most categories above (with the exception of flavor) and I can announce that the winner is – Special K!
Although Raisin bran won in the calorie, Fiber, Sodium and price categories, Speical K is slightly lower in carbs, lower in sugar, and fat and higher in protein and vitamins and minerals.
Its important to point out that ‘which is best’ can also be subjective, for example you might want a cereal with more fiber, but the information above means you can make an informed decision on what is best for you.
In many cases when a food is high in something good, it might also be high in something bad, for example, Raisin Bran is high in fiber, but also very high in sugar.
|Comparison Category||Winner (Special K or Raisin Bran)|
|Best for Calorie Content||Raisin Bran|
|Best for Carbohydrate Content||Special K|
|Best for Sugar Content||Special K|
|Best for Protein Content||Special K|
|Best for Fat Content||Special K|
|Best for Fiber Content||Raisin Bran|
|Best for Sodium Content||Raisin Bran|
|Best for Vitamins/Minerals||Special K|
|Best for Price||Raisin Bran|
|Overall Winner||Kellogg’s Special K|
References Used for this Article
To ensure the nutritional information used in this article is accurate, I have used data from both the original producers and the USDA; the links below contain the source information: