Idaho Growers Told Carb Craze May Be Waning

Published online: Jul 22, 2004
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Members of Potato Growers of Idaho were told that the diet carbohydrate craze/fad may be winding down.

Speaking at the group's annual summer meeting, Linda McCashion of the U.S. Potato Board says the first wave of media interest on the low-carb movement has run its course.

She noted that as media attention fades, it will be likely interest among consumers will also begin to wane.

McCashion says newspapers like the Wall Street Journal say that a raft of new food items stepped up to fill dieters' plates. But with the signs carb-cutting may be widing down, there is now a low-carb backlash. Food makers are revising their plans for new products amid disappointing sales, and in some cases, an inabililty to charge as much as they had planned.

Pete Mattson, chairman of the food product development firm of Mattson and Co., predicts that past food trends show that only a fraction of new diet-driven products earn a permanent spot on supermarket shelves. He said in time a significant portion of the trend will be gone.

McCashion says the next battle the industry will have to fight is to make sure potatoes don't lose their place in the current food pyramid. There are reports that first drafts have it moving up the pyramid to be considered a food that needs to be restricted.