Low-carb craze cools

Filed under: Business — Tags: — @ November 2, 2004

The future isn’t looking too bright for makers of packaged foods aimed at low-carb dieters as more U.S. consumers are abandoning the lifestyle. According to new research, the percentage of Americans following low-carb diets such as Atkins and South Beach dropped to 4.6 percent in September from 9 percent in January. Dollar sales of such foods rose just 6.1 percent during the 13 weeks ended September 25, down from double and triple-digit gains in the previous six periods.

Meanwhile, sales of “The South Beach Diet” book slowed to about 20,000 copies a week in early October, down from around 70,000 a week during what some experts said was the peak of the low-carb diet craze in early March. “The bloom is off the rose,” said Bob Goldin, executive vice president of food industry consulting firm Technomic. “It doesn’t look like the market has any staying power.”

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