Saturday, July 02, 2005

Low-Carb Still Making Bread Companies Bite The Dust

This Meriden, Connecticut-based Record-Journal article about how the sustained popularity of low-carb is forcing bread companies out of business proves the low-carb lifestyle is still alive and well.

Although we have been bombarded by the media of the alleged demise of Atkins and other low-carb diets, this story proves that is nothing more than wishful thinking from low-fat advocates and that low-carb isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

It seems a once-heralded bread manufacturer called Interstate Bakeries, Inc., who produces such carb-loaded items as Wonder Bread, Home Pride, and Hostess Twinkies, has been forced to close some of its outlet stores due to the lack of sales. The company already filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy ten months ago.

While I feel bad for the 3,000 people who lost their jobs this week because of the store closings, it is hard to deny that low-carb did not have some kind of cause and effect impact on this happening. As more and more people begin choosing healthier eating options for themselves and their families, bread companies will need to adapt to the changing consumer needs and offer products that fit that need.

My wife and I used to love going to our local bread outlet store and loading up on loaves of bread, sweets and rolls. We'd spend about $20-30 and get a month's worth of bread products. It was inexpensive food, but it was also chock full of carbohydrates that we did not need. When I started livin' la vida low-carb last year, we had to stop going to that store and haven't been back since. There's nothing there we can buy anymore!

Interstate Bakeries spokesman Jason Booth is the first person I have heard from one of these bread companies hit by the popularity of low-carb to acknowledge it publicly, although he defended his company by saying sales of cupcakes and sugary sweets have remained strong sellers for them.

"In the past, the shift to reduce carbohydrates has had some impact," Booth said. "This company has had a lot of cost overhead to reduce, a lot of duplicate production and distribution and benefits."

Right, it's all in the past, isn't it? NOT! The fact is low-carb is still still having a big impact on the bread business and we'll continue to read stories like this as more and more people realize the negative health impact the consumption of these excessive carbs is having on them. As for the sweet products still selling well for them, that'll change when people realize it is the sugar they are eating that is contributing to their obesity problem. Once they start cutting sugar out of their diets, we will see a quick nosedive in businesses that provide these products to the public. It may take a few years, but it is coming.

Interstate Bakeries lost $24.1 million in June, the largest one-month loss since filing for bankruptcy in September 2004.

With the trend leaning towards low-carb, high-fiber breads, companies like Interstate Bakeries will need to have a gut check and examine why they missed the boat on this obvious shift in their business clientele. The businesses that remain strong historically have always found their niche and strategized to predict what consumers will want in the future. Obviously, the executives at Interstate Bakeries chose to ignore the low-carb consumer because they bought into the lie that it was "just a fad." Big mistake!

There are so many healthy low-carb bread options for people out there now that it would be foolish to buy regular bread from companies like Interstate Bakeries ever again.

If you want to try some delicious low-carb breads, then you will have to order some from here today. You've never eaten such a variety of delicious low-carb breads that taste this good and with ZERO net carbs! These are the kind of products Interstate Bakeries needs to come up with to regain the business lost to those of us who are livin' la vida low-carb!

Tell Interstate Bakeries what they need to do to win back our business. Maybe they'll listen, maybe not. But at least they'll have no excuse that they didn't know what we wanted! Let me know if you receive a response from them.

5-16-06 UPDATE: This excellent analysis of the bankruptcy by Interstate Bakeries credits low-carb for contributing to the company's problems. Bdum, dum, dum...another one bites the dust!

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