Sunday, September 04, 2005

Beef Market Observer Says Low-Carb Consumers Will Continue To Drive Sales

Dr. Bill Roe Says Low-Carbers Continue To Drive Cattle Market

Despite all the recent negative news stories regarding the supposed decline and what some believe is the soon-to-be nonexistent low-carb diet trend, Dr. Bill Roe is advising the cattle industry in this story that appeared on CattleNetwork.comto not give up on the low-carb consumers just yet as there has been a resurgence of sorts in those who are following this weight loss and weight maintenance lifestyle.

As an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at Ohio State University, Dr. Roe is a keen observer of how consumer demand for U.S. livestock products shifts and changes as a result of various socioeconomic factors. His primary focus is to help the cattle industry maximize its sales potential by educating them with market trends and presenting them with possibilities for future growth.

I am quite sure Dr. Roe would agree with me regarding this touchy news story recently that caused some ripples in the cattle industry as well. Cattle farmers have taken a lot of heat over the years regarding their product and it's good to know they have an advocate in their corner assisting them with monitoring the latest trends that will directly affect their business in Dr. Roe.

In his column entitled "Low-Carb Diet’s Demise May Be Greatly Exaggerated" (which sounds extremely close to the headline I used for this article back in December 2004), Dr. Roe said the low-carb diet revolution which "helped resurrect red meat demand" a few years back has been getting hammered by the media since Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. filed for bankruptcy in early August. He noted seeming conflicting public opinion data that exists which simultaneously shows both a downward and an upward trend regarding the popularity of the low-carb lifestyle.

The NPD group claims that the low-carb popularity peaked at nearly 10 percent of the American public in early 2004 and plummeted to just 2 percent this summer. Much of the media has quoted this particular poll often to lend credence to their claim that low-carb is all but dead.

However, statistics from Opinion Dynamics Corp. which has been watching the low-carb trend since December 2003 and has conducted a monthly poll asking whether people are currently following a low-carbohydrate diet found that an all-time high of 16 percent of Americans answered "yes" to that question in early 2005. Even according to the latest numbers in this survey from August 2005, an astonishing 13 percent of the American people are currently livin' la vida low-carb making it more popular than the #1 show on television!

Dr. Roe said the disparity in the data was in the way the information was gathered. The NPD survey only followed those people who strictly remained on a low-carb diet while the Opinion Dynamics survey polled people who are attempting to follow a low-carb plan.

Regardless of which number is accurate, the fact is that there are millions upon millions upon millions of real people who are STILL turning to low-carb to help them deal with their weight and health problems. It is effective and has helped people change their lives forever. I'm a low-carb success story and proud of it, too. More people need to know the truth about low-carb and not be subjected to the constant lies the media spoon feeds the general public on a daily basis.

In advising the cattle industry about what this means to their business, Dr. Roe said there will still be shifts that occur when people decide to stop doing low-carb for a while and back off on eating beef temporarily. But with the sustained popularity of books like The South Beach Diet still selling VERY well, the benefits of eating meat will not be ignored by these consumers.

Looking at other "dieting fads" that are on the horizon, Dr. Roe contends the 3-Hour Diet should not affect the cattle business, although the author of the book Jorge Cruise (who recently got busted by Julia Havey) pushes his readers to eat a low-fat/portion-controlled diet which would not include eating beef. There are other books out there which Dr. Roe believes could threaten the meat market if they become as popular as low-carb did a couple of years ago.

But low-carb isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

While I know it won't even come close to the sales of the highly-touted low-fat diet books that pervade most of the diet book market nowadays, I am hopeful that my book "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" (set to release in October 2005 and available at this blog) will help open the eyes of skeptics who may have become convinced that nobody has lost a lot of weight and kept it off on a low-carb lifestyle. This story about my 180-pound weight loss success will shoot holes all through that theory and cause people to think for themselves about what the best way for them to tackle their obesity really is.

I know I'm dreaming out loud when I say this, but I am expecting my book to reach at least 10,000 people over the next year. People are wanting someone to share with them the truth about how to get their weight problem under control. It has been a lifelong struggle for them and they feel like nobody really understands their plight. Having been in those shoes before myself, I know exactly how that feels and all you want to know when you are overweight or obese is that somebody else in that same situation was able to overcome it themselves. That's what I believe "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" is going to offer people. It's a book of hope, inspiration, and instruction that will show people that it can and must be done.

As for Dr. Roe's conclusion about the whole low-carb trend, he said cattle farmers should continue to watch and track the eating habits of low-carbers in the coming years. He said that industry leaders should hire a marketing research firm to follow those who say they are livin' la vida low-carb and have periodic reports about the state of the low-carb diet.

Or perhaps he could tell them to check out the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog, which currently averages about 400-500 pageviews per day from people who are interested in the low-carb lifestyle. As hard as the media has tried, though, it seems they have not dampened interest in low-carb one bit. That's the way it's gonna stay!

E-mail Dr. Bill Roe about his comments on low-carb at

9-7-05 UPDATE: Dr. Roe was kind enough to e-mail me regarding my column about him:

"Your comments are appreciated (and congrats on the successful weight loss). The insight was provided by another successful low carb dieter (I think her screen name is TheBigWoo or something like that) - I merely recognized that
she had successfully integrated some disparate pieces of information and filled in a few gaps.

Best of luck and thanks.

Brian Roe
Associate Professor, Dept. AED Economics
614.688.5777 phone/614.292.7710 fax

THANK YOU, Dr. Roe for speaking the truth. Now if we can just get the media and health experts to follow suit...


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