According to USA Today, Kraft will execute a marketing push to tie its brands with the South Beach diet, a popular choice among low-carb dieters. Among the products it will say adhere to the dietary restrictions are Louis Rich poultry cuts, Kraft low-fat and fat-free cheese, Jell-O sugar free gelatin, Cool Whip, Planter's peanuts, and Grey Poupon mustard.
It's no secret that Kraft has been floundering as shoppers have begun to steer clear of some of its fatty and sugary snacks. Lackluster financial results and job cuts have been par for the course for Kraft lately. The company's been trying to come up with ways to woo consumers back by addressing health and weight concerns, such as considering scaled-back portions.
There are a few things wrong with Kraft's plan. It's quite possible that the Atkins and South Beach frenzy has come and gone -- six months ago, it was all anyone talked about, but such conversation now seems a little tired. It seems likely that while low-carb diets will never go away, their existence as a "craze" is about to end.
In an interesting development, the Canadian health department has moved to ban "low-carb" labeling, which will take effect in December 2005. The governmental body contends that there's no scientific evidence to support the healthiness of low-carb diets; therefore, "low-carb" labels are not allowed, although companies can make claims pertaining to "low-fat" and "low-sodium" foods.
While no such law applies in the U.S., it may have an impact on major food companies that provide their wares in the U.S. and Canada. Not to mention, it's a precedent that may -- just may -- begin to sway public opinion away from low-carb diets.
For the time being, maybe the South Beach seal of approval will boost Kraft's fortunes. However, one might argue that many people who have been on low-carb diets have probably already identified the Kraft foods in question as acceptable. Kraft's tardiness may just turn into another misstep.
Are you a low-carb dieter? Stop in at our Low Carb Way of Life discussion board.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. Although her own attempt at the South Beach diet failed miserably, she knows she consumed both sugar-free Jell-O and Planter's peanuts.