Potatoes, Pasta, Orange Juice Taking Biggest Hits

Published online: Aug 05, 2004 LCMA
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Some 11 percent of the U.S. adult population remain solidly on a low-carb diet, the Low Carb Manufacturer's Association said today.

Opinion Dynamics Corporation, a market research firm that specializes in the foodservice industry, made the discovery.

ODC has been tracking low-carb diet behavior on a regular basis over the last several months. Each study consisted of an independent, nationwide telephone survey of 900 U.S. adults using a random-digit-dail methodology.

Each earlier study found that betwen 11 and 12 percent of the public are saying they were following a diet which restricted carbohydrates.

The good news is that although the current low-carb dieters numbers remained stable, the percentage of people who say they are merely making an effort to restrict their carbs has dropped substantially in the past few months.

This group, called low-carb lifestyle consumers, has decreased from 32 percent in April to only 21 percent in the current study. It appears that the percentage of Americans who are casually watching their carbs is shrinking.

The research which focused on patterns of consumption of potatoes, pasta, orange juice and eggs, found that consumers currently or formerly on low-carb diets make substantial changes to their diets, but those who claim to casually watch their carbs tend to make very few changes.

ODC's research confirms the continual and growing need for consumer education, said Iris Shaffer, executive director of the Low Carb Manufacturers Alliance.

The message in the study is that the low-carb dieters are a stable group, and that opportunities exist for manufacturers, retailers and restaurants to serve them better.

Larry Shinman, a director at ODC, said it is important for all businesses serving this segment to carefully consider costs versus opportunity before investing in the low-carb market.