Monday, March 01, 2004

The power of the low-carb symbol

Do you count your carbs? Depending on where you are in the country and, of course, who your friends are, you may be in the minority if you are not at least "watching your carbs." An Article in Business 2.0 points out the deficiency on the part of the Atkins brand to really market its image. As more and more food manufacturers produce products for people that are either eliminating carbs, watching carbs, or counting carbs, there is a massive potential for Atkins to transition from a simple carb program with limited food offerings to a certification agency (you don't even need to read the article to figure this out). Check out the Atkins website and you will see what appears to be a fairly adequate selection of low- or no-carb offerings. I would challenge you to then go walk through your local supermarket and look at the number of products no advertising low- or no-carb content, or at the very least advertising the amount of "net carbs" that their product contains.

If you don't really believe this is a big deal, I suggest that you go and purchase a bottle of Michelob Ultra, the top selling beer in the country. Michelob Ultra has almost no carbs; it almost has as little taste, and what's there tastes pretty bad. Michelob is a Budweiser product and is actually cannibalizing sales of the flagship product, Bud Light. Other beer companies are in a reactionary mode, trying to either advertise the low carb content of their beer (not that they've changed anything about the beer, but now it's important to report whatever the carb count has been all along) or to produce their own low-carb competitor. Michelob Ultra is destined to be the winner in the low-carb beer category because of first-mover advantage (although I keep my eye on Rock Green Light by Rolling Rock because their regular beer already tastes like water, so the low-carb stuff can't really taste all that much different . . . but I must admit that I have not tried one).

In any event, as the article succinctly suggests:

". . . Atkins should move more quickly to transform its logo into the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping seal for low-carb foods."

". . . Atkins should "partner like crazy, along the lines of 'Intel Inside' . . ."

"Atkins Inside" = no carbs inside. Not a bad concept, although i don't see Dell carrying Atkins products anytime soon.

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