August 1

Atkins files for bankruptcy


I’ve been hearing through the grapevine about financial problems with Atkins Nutritionals for months. I guess the rumors were true.
I think the problem for Atkins and all the other purveyors of what is basically low-carb snack food is that the prices of their products were too high and the taste was not all that great. When Atkins and others first came out with low-carb snacks and low-carb specialty stores were all over the place, low-carbers thought they had died and gone to heaven. Finally, they could eat cereal, candy, pancakes, and all the other junk that they had been denying themselves since starting low-carb,
After almost an orgy of consumption of what was to put not too fine a point on it low-carb junk food, most people returned to their whole-food low-carb diets and ate the low-carb junk occasionally. All the manufacturers of low-carb products saw their revenues fall, and most, including Atkins, finally took the tumble.
I would guess that Atkins will operate for awhile under the protection of Chapter 11, and will shuck a bunch of debt, but I don’t think much for its long term prospects.
The failure of all these manufacturers of low-carb processed foods seems to imply that the low-carb diet has died. I don’t think the low-carb diet is dead at all; I think it has just gone mainstream. Everywhere I go I see low-carb choices on restaurant menus, I see “reduced carbs” on labels at grocery stores, and most people I talk to who are dieting are watching their carbs.
When all the media focus was on low-carb diets a couple of years ago, an enormous number of people invested huge amounts of money to capitalize on the trend. Almost overnight low-carb products and low-carb stores appeared everywhere. Low-carb dieters gave it a try, then said, no thanks, we’ll stick with our whole foods. I think they made the right choice.

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