Cheez-It (extra toasty) by Kellogg

overall rating:



Madeleine Watson
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Overall this is not the sustainable snack I would recommend.  I would recommend tot he consumer that they try a vegan cheese snack alternative that puts sustainability first instead of second. I recommend that the company considers becoming much more transparent regarding their production process and where the ingredients are sourced from because this matters for sustainability. Additionally, I suggest they consider completely eliminating typical plastics and try alternatives (plant-based plastics etc.) instead of just focusing on recyclability, reusability and compostability. I think they’ve made great strides to minimize emissions and hope they continue to do so and on a much larger level. Overall Kellogg would benefit from giving the consumer more transparency, and if they feel like the truth would be hurtful, maybe they should add it to their sustainability to-do list.

What it's made of:


It is made of enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, vitamin B1 [thiamin mononirtiate], vitamin B2 [riboflavin], folic acid, vegetable oil (high oleic soybean, soybean, palm, and/or canola oil with THBQ for freshness, cheese made with skim milk (skim milk, whey protein, salt, cheese cultures, enzymes, annatto extract color, contains 2% or less of salt,
dextrose, paprika, yeast, paprika extract color, and soy lecithin. Interesting - what does “palm and/or canola oil really mean”? Can someone please tell me how this is allowed? Cheez-it says nothing about where ingredients are sourced from or anything about the sustainability of their palm oil. The best they give you is a sustainability page of Kellogg. After spending about an hour reading through their website, I’ll give it to them that they’re aware of what’s trending in the society, but the empty and vague statements are clear. Because of the lack of information on where they’re sourcing the palm oil and dairy I cannot rate this favorably.
This product is not GMO free and contains dairy. I wonder if they could make a vegan friendly version - I know I would try it.
The nutrition facts are explicitly included online which hasn’t been typical for previous food/beverage reviews of mine so I really appreciated this transparency. Twenty seven crackers are 150 calories and 230mg sodium while I feel is reasonable for this tasty snack.

How it's made:


Kellogg doesn’t specify any production process. Without any transparency on their commercial production process, I again, cannot rate this section any higher than a 0. It’s imperative for sustainability that this is clear because it can be almost certain that some amount of carbon emissions come of it. Why they don’t include this information makes me question what could possibly be hidden and that would push the consumers away. For me, the lack of knowledge feels worse.
Where some production process becomes clear is from a FoodNetwork youtube video. I found it frustrating that this information was clearer from another source than it was from the company itself. Nevertheless, I learned a lot from the video (it is the last reference if you would like to watch it for yourself (~3 min)). While I didn’t mention sustainability it shows the massive scale of production, ENORMOUS blocks of cheese of around 500 pounds are placed into the machines - they use almost 30 million pounds of cheese a year. An environmental impact obviously exists here. In the video there’s also mention of baking the cheez its in an oven that is over a football field long. But again - no mention of the impact on the environment. The video was quite off-putting - I suggest as a consumer you check it out.

Who makes it:


Kellogg really puts forth an effort to appear sustainable but it’s either not enough, empty, or not even acknowledging major aspects. To start, they discuss the sustainability of their packaging and have a goal of 100% sustainable packaging by 2025. Great! What does sustainable packaging mean? To Kellogg, its recyclable, reusable or compostable. While this is a great step, most recyclables don’t even get recycled and this should be addressed. I wish they would completely get away from plastic and use alternatives for their recyclable, reusable, compostable model.
Their home page has a slide show where the second slide says “we do not tolerate discrimination, believe all individuals should be treated with respect...” well I sure hope you do? They say they’re giving $1M to NAACP which I feel is valid. Many of the statements follow this format.
I was pleasantly surprised to read their Environmental Social Governance page where they share how extensively they’ve donated meals to people in need. But on the same page they use the word “transparency” which threw me off because of the disconnect I’ve found.