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Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Smash

The Shonky Award for... Putting the squeeze on good health

shonkys 2018 nutrigrain
CHOICE staff
CHOICE staff


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

The original 'ironman food' has found a new way to serve up sugar for breakfast, thanks to its latest 'To Go' range. 

What's especially caught our eye is the Nutri-Grain Banana & Honey Smash Protein Squeezer, with 14.7g – or 3.5 teaspoons – of total sugar per packet.

Promising "a delicious thick and creamy breakfast blend of oatmeal, banana and honey", and accompanied by images of adventurous and fit-looking young adults heading out to "crush it", Kellogg's Nutri-Grain wants to tempt kids with an offer that's not so sweet from a health perspective.

Video: Nutri-Grain Banana & Honey Smash – Shonky Awards

Kellogg's marketing spruiks the 5.6g per pouch of "protein to help you feel fuller", but there's no shortage of protein in the average Australian diet (including kids'), and there are other products that are far better sources of protein without the sugar. 

Greek yoghurt contains more protein, at around 6g per 100g, with half the sugar (none of it added), and has the added bonus of containing calcium.

Banana & Honey Smash also contains an intense sweetener, making it taste even sweeter, and while lots of snacks and sweets are high in sugar, most of them don't masquerade as 'ironman food'.

Added sugar adds to health problems

We think companies like Kellogg's need to be transparent about how much of their sugar is added and how much is intrinsic to the ingredients. 

If we know whether sugar is added, it's much easier to make healthier choices in the shopping aisle.

The health outcomes of too much added sugar can include weight gain, high blood pressure, blood lipids, type 2 diabetes and dental problems.

The Nutri-Grain marketing machine has clearly taken pains over the years to connect its products with elite athletes including ironmen and ironwomen, along with general concepts of fitness, health and vigorous activity. 

While some consumers may see through the spin, we think it's time to say enough is enough – it's Shonky marketing, it's a Shonky breakfast and it's leading to Shonky health outcomes.