Thursday, February 22, 2007

Saying A Final Farewell To Eat Well Be Well

Low-carb manufacturer Eat Well Be Well has closed its doors for good

I'm gonna report on a news story about low-carb pretending I am a member of the traditional media for just a moment.

HEADLINE: The Low-Carb Fad Is Fading Fast
In a move that puts the final nail in the coffin of the dangerous Atkins diet, struggling no-carb business Eat Well Be Well couldn't find anyone who is still on this harmful and risky diet plan anymore so they were forced to permanently shut down their operations. This comes as no surprise considering all the controversial health problems that this ridiculous high-fat diet is believed to cause. Frankly, it's surprising that there are any low-carb business still in existence today!

You might be laughing at my little mock news story, but you know that's EXACTLY how they would report a low-carb business that has decided to shut down. It's gotta be a sign that low-carb the diet is dead, something that we often heard about right after Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2005 (they have since survived the bankruptcy and back prospering again as Collette Heimowitz said in my interview with her last year thanks to some of the bestselling high-protein bars on the market today).

But the sad part about this mock story is that the manufacturer Eat Well Be Well really has been forced to go out of business. If you go to right now, then you will see the following two-sentence announcement from the company:

"We regret to announce that as of January 31, 2007 Eat Well Be Well Foods, Inc. is no longer in business. No products are available for sale from us."

I heard about this today from someone who did a Google search on "Eat Well Be Well" looking for information about the company and their low-carb products and she was concerned about what happened to them.

"Did you know they have gone out of business? I am so disappointed. I loved their products. I went to the website today after reading about getting coupons on the box and learned their fate. I am going to my grocery store tonight and cleaning the shelves!"

Yeah, I noticed my local grocery store a few weeks ago had the entire Eat Well Be Well product line discounted like they were getting rid of it. Now I know why these products are going away and it's really kinda sad to think about because they really were superb for people who are livin' la vida low-carb.

Last March, I blogged about the Eat Well Be Well sugar-free whole grain products and just a few months back I told you about their sugar-free chocolate chips. But now they're gonna be gone forever. BOO HOO!

An industry insider said the reason Eat Well Be Well has gone out of business didn't have as much to do with the popularity of their products (which was at an all-time high), but rather the financiers who pulled their funding from the company altogether. They are currently discussing selling the recipes for their products to another company, but no word yet on who will purchase them and when that will happen.

You know, the more I think about this, though, this story really doesn't surprise me at all. A few years ago, the company used to be called CarbSense back when livin' la vida low-carb was all the rage by every opportunistic food company in the world. They were VERY successful and rode that tidal wave just like everyone else did whether their products were truly low-carb or a part of the garbage that flooded supermarket shelves.

Sadly, most of those products were not really low-carb the wave quickly came crashing down on anything labeled "low-carb." As a result, many of the legitimate independent companies providing low-carb products were pushed out of business--like KETO, for example--and the people at CarbSense thought they saw the handwriting on the wall. That's why they changed their name to Eat Well Be Well.

This was a contentious topic I blogged about last year with all these companies and individuals in the low-carb community jumping ship on the term "low-carb" trying to be accepted by people ignorant about what low-carb was really all about. This was something I just couldn't let pass by without comment and here's what I wrote at the time:

While others have purposely backed away from using "low-carb," I have actively embraced it with every ounce of resolve within me because it is the plan that made me skinny for the first time in my life and it is what will keep me fit and trim for the rest of my life. Why would I call it something different now? Perhaps I am being naive about my decision to use the term "low-carb," but I don't think so. If it weren't for "low-carb" being a part of my life, had I not learned more about what "low-carb" living is all about, and if the principles of "low-carb" could not be communicated to the masses of overweight and obese people who need to understand what it is, then where would I be today? 400+ pounds, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breathing problems, or quite possibly, six feet under!

So what happens when you capitulate and give in to the temptation to dance around telling people you are all about "low-carb." You merely water down your message until it becomes so irrelevant that people stop paying attention to what you have to say because there's nothing unique about you. I think that's exactly what happened to Eat Well Be Well. While they were a fantastic company with amazing sugar-free, low-carb products, they caved pure and simple and paid the price.

In hindsight, I bet they wish they had kept the name CarbSense because it only made "sense" (all pun intended!) for the kind of products they were creating. Look on store shelves today and you still see products like Breyer's CarbSmart ice cream selling very well nationwide, so there's no reason why CarbSense could not have experienced similar branding and marketing success had they stuck to their guns with their original name. I guess we'll never know now, will we?

Speaking of CarbSmart, my newfound reader wanted to know where she could find some good high-fiber healthy sugar-free whole grain products to help her build on her nearly 100-pound low-carb weight loss. That online low-carb retail store is a great place to start and there are many other excellent low-carb stores ready to serve you with those kinds of products. Visit my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Links" blog to find a complete listing of low-carb retail stores.

With this post, I'd like to say a final farewell to Eat Well Be Well and wish everyone who helped make that company the success that it was all the best in their future careers. Maybe the lessons learned from this experience will serve the interests of other low-carb companies who may be contemplating a name change or product modification. If Eat Well Be Well is any indication of what happens when you do that, then perhaps you might want to rethink that strategy and keep doing what got you where you are today. Something to think about.

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Blogger Meredith Curry said...

I pose this question: Do you really think low-carbing is fading or is it being re-marketed. Whole grains, eat 5 plus servings of veggies a day. I think that Atkins has started paving a way that little by little those ideas are gradually being implemented that will make monumental changes.

I recently read a Weight Watcher article (you can go to their webiste and flip through archive articles) that said, "Fat is not all bad." Their biggest emphasis was "cut the fat, fat is bad" and realized we were hungry all the time. Now it emphasizes moderate fat & lean protein to get you through. let's see who said that years ago? Oh yeah, Dr. Atkins.

2/22/2007 10:55 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Interesting sidebar, Meredith. I do think the emphasis on "low-carb" from a business standpoint is fading although I don't believe it is necessary. There's plenty of market out there that will still buy genuine "low-carb" products that are high-quality like ChocoPerfection bars.

I agree Dr. Atkins has changed the conversation and that will be his lasting legacy. Who would have thought about "healthy" fats before him? It wouldn't have happened.

2/22/2007 11:41 PM  
Blogger mckie2 said...

I dislike seeing low carb options going away but a lot of the time I believe the low carb industry is it's own worst enemy. When low carb was big time a few years ago so many products came out that didn't taste very good. People gave up on them so that even the things that did taste good couldn't sell - so they stopped making them. Now a days there may be some better tasting options but I find they are so over priced that I don't want to buy them. Why would I pay $6-7 for a loaf of whole grain bread when I can get a loaf of Sara Lee Delightful for $3? Why would I want to pay $10 for a donut mix that makes 6 donuts that I have to bake myself after buying a $10 pan? Not to mention the added cost of shipping on these over-priced items. My low carb foods need to be locally available to me at my grocery store. I have to be on a low carb diet for the rest of my life so my food gathering efforts can't be a chore or added expense. I have to content myself with Russell Stover sugar free candies and Murray sugar free cookies for occasional treats because they are available. When you first start a low carb diet you may be more willing to hunt special items down, but after years of maintenance you find what is readily available and you maintain with that and do without all the other stuff.

Thanks, Susan

2/24/2007 1:39 PM  
Blogger Hawthorn Thistleberry said...

Those of us with type II diabetes who have been using low-carb diets for glucose control, entirely irrespective of weight, since long before the "craze", really enjoyed having all these options available to us for a while, and are going to miss them as they gradually disappear.

3/29/2007 9:19 AM  

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