News Analysis: Nestle Gambles on Low-Carb Craze

Marketing, June 3, 2004 | Go to article overview

News Analysis: Nestle Gambles on Low-Carb Craze


The confectionery giant believes Atkins-style dieters will pay a premium for a low-carb Kit Kat, writes Claire Murphy

You couldn't fault the quality of Nestle Rowntree's PR planning last week.

Stories about its introduction of low-carbohydrate Kit Kats and Rolos appeared in the media just two days before the hard-hitting report on obesity from the House of Commons health select committee was published.

Food firms have been steeling themselves for the report ever since McDonald's, PepsiCo, Kellogg and Cadbury-Schweppes were grilled by MPs last November. Although it contained some stringent recommendations for the industry, there were some morsels of good news for Nestle UK's confectionery marketers.

The report recommends that manufacturers and retailers do more than focus solely on reducing fat levels by adding refined carbohydrates or sugars; it wants them to introduce food products with lower 'energy density' - a measure of a food's calorie content in relation to its total volume.

As a result, the Nestle low-carb products have drawn a cautious welcome from the committee. 'We'll have to see how robust these products are, but this is one example of the steps that need to be taken,' says MP Keith Bradley. Chairman David Hinchliffe argues that the net effect would only be positive if consumers don't choose to eat more because of the low carbohydrate levels.

Of course, Nestle's low-carb confectionery was not devised primarily to toe parliament's line on curbing obesity, even if this is a PR-friendly (and politically astute) side-effect. Nestle is targeting the 3m UK consumers dodging bread and potatoes in an effort to stick to low-carb diets.

Diet frenzy

The Atkins phenomenon is becoming hugely influential, and is fast replacing low fat as the dieting flavour of the month. Only last week, two American reports showed that, contrary to the suspicions of the medical establishment, people do lose weight by cutting their intake of carbohydrates, with no identified health problems.

Manufacturers are rushing to develop products that can capitalise on this trend. UK consumers can already buy low-carb beer and bread, as well as a range of Atkins-branded food in Boots. A Reuters Business Insight report found that over a quarter of European and US food and drink companies are actively researching low-carb products.

Is it a step too far to extend this trend to chocolate? Confectionery companies' innovation departments have tried and failed to launch healthy versions of chocolate bars before. Mars tested a low-fat version of its Mars Bar, dubbed Mars Light, in 1997, only to conclude that the product's taste wasn't good enough.

Jon Platt, an inventor working with one of the major confectionery firms at innovation agency What If?, believes confectionery is a category consumers don't expect to be healthy. 'Consumers compartmentalise their eating occasions,' he says. 'They may eat healthily so that they can indulge in a product such as chocolate at other times.'

With all the publicity about obesity over the past year, consumers may be ready to accept 'healthy' confectionery. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

News Analysis: Nestle Gambles on Low-Carb Craze
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.