Shelf space on the up for low-carb products

Related tags Nutrition

Snack foods company Frito-Lay is next in line to capitalize on the
popularity of low-carbohydrate diets. The company's new chips will
use soy proteins and fiber as substitute ingredients.

The two new products, called Doritos Edge and Tostitos Edge, will cut out 60 per cent of the carbohydrates that are in regular Doritos and Tostitos, says the company.

Frito-Lay, a unit of PepsiCo, has already eliminated trans fats from its products after findings suggested a link to heart disease and consumer groups continue to push food manufacturers to cut the trans fat content.

According to the US company, both Tostitos Edge and Doritos Edge will have six net carbohydrates, 10 grams of protein, and three grams of fiber. Doritos Edge is currently being tested in Phoenix, and both products will be available across the United States in May.

Influenced by the 30-year old Atkins diet that promotes cutting carbs from the dietary regime, major food companies across the US have been rolling out new low-carb products to capitalize on the popularity of the high-protein diet.

Anheuser-Busch's low-carb Michelob Ultra beer has been a big profit driver for the past year and Adolph Coors is rolling out Aspen Edge beer to take a slice of the health-conscious market.

Fast food chains McDonald's and Burger King - removing the bun, for example - have also revamped their menus to cater for customers counting their carbs.

Heinz is launching its 'One Carb' version of its market-leading ketchup in the spring, with only 1g of carbohydrate a serving, a quarter of the normal amount. It has also introduced six 'Smart Ones' frozen meals with lower carbohydrate and more proteing than the existing Smart Ones brand.

Niche food manufacturers who got in on the act early - such as Atkins Nutritionals and Keto Foods - have made clear inroads into the market, before the food giants.

But in the last year their presence on the low-carb shelf has started to be encroached on as the food titans increase their entries onto the market. However, recent polls suggest there is room for all. A Harris Interactive for Novartis Consumer Health in August found an estimated 32 million Americans were on high-protein, low-carb diets.

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