Mintel research has found low-carb diets appeal to more than half the US population. More than 50 per cent of Americans ?have tried the diet in the past, are currently on the diet or are cutting back carbs, or would try it in the future,? the research company reports.?
US consumers want low-carb food options and nearly half of those on the diet say they are worth paying extra for.
This mass change in dietary habits has affected all aspects of the food industry from ?the declining sales of potatoes, refrigerated orange juice and instant rice to the repositioning of classics such as beef jerky to the battle in the beer cooler over whose product is lowest in carbohydrates.?
While weight loss was an important factor, with nearly two-thirds of low-carb dieters looking to lose weight, more than 75 per cent of respondents said they were cutting back on carbs because of their belief that it is a healthier way to eat. ?Three out of every five low-carb dieters say they plan to limit their carbohydrate intake for life,? Mintel noted.?
Protein food groups such as meats and nuts have benefited from the trend. The nuts and dried fruits market grew almost 8 per cent from 2002 to 2003, and the meat snacks market grew a massive 147 per cent from 1997 to 2002.