Safeway to label low-carbohydrate products

Safeway is looking at introducing in-store labelling highlighting products that contain less than ten per cent carbohydrates, following the popularity of the controversial low-carbohydrate Atkins Diet.

No supermarket has yet supported the trend towards eating low-carb products with a specific marketing campaign. If the supermarket proceeds with the initiative then it will use on-shelf labelling marking out in-store areas where low-carb products, such as Anheuser-Busch’s Michelob Ultra, can be found from next January.

The push will coincide with the post-Christmas diet wave and extend to products that have less than ten per cent fat. Safeway already has a range devoted to products with less than three per cent fat, called Eat Smart.

Other brands to have capitalised on the Atkins fad include sandwich chain Benjy’s, which has introduced a range of low-carb breakfast and lunchtime products, and Heinz, which has launched One Carb Ketchup in the US (MW October 9). The popularity of the Atkins Diet has been so great that it has hit sales of Unilever’s Slimfast brand.

Last week, members of the health select committee investigating obesity questioned supermarket chiefs and put forward various suggestions to encourage healthy eating, including the removal of sweets from check-outs. Asda has announced that it will be test-marketing sweet-free check-outs, bringing it in line with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Safeway.

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