Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

Low carb life – week 1

That consumers are increasingly avoiding carbs should not come as news to anyone. Sales of traditional carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta and bread are going down, and low-carb alternatives are becoming increasingly popular.

In 2016, 20% of Britons were said to regularly replace pasta and rice with vegetables, while 23% of Italians claimed to be limiting their pasta consumption for health reasons. This is reflected in the sales numbers; pasta sales for both countries decreased by 2% between 2011 and 2015, and continued to fall in 2016.

Meanwhile, the French were eating 30 grams less bread per person per day in 2015 compared to 2003, and US sales of pasta were down from $1.94 billion in 2015-2016 to $1.91 billion in 2016-2017.

There is undeniably a bit of a ‘carbophobia’ going on in the world, and as well as replacing ‘bad carbs’ with ‘better carbs’, some consumers take it a step further. “Going keto” – whereby consumers follow a ketogenic diet that excludes carbs almost altogether – is now a “thing”.

A bit of a ‘carb junkie’ myself, I never imagined that I would be one of those consumers. But I have always liked a challenge, so when the opportunity presented itself, I thought “Why not?”.

Many NNB readers will regard going keto as scientifically-challenged – and certainly eyebrows were raised around the NNB office – but here I am today, counting my carbohydrate intake as if my life depended on it, and wondering what I have got myself into.

I am now five days in to my new diet, and just about starting to feel normal again. The first couple of days can be summarised in one word: Ouch. My head was sore, my thoughts went missing and I found myself speaking the wrong language no less than three times.

“Don’t worry, it’s just the keto flu, it will pass,” my partner told me, while grating the cauliflower that would be the ‘flour’ in our home-made pizzas. I sincerely hope that he is right.

To be continued…

By: Mikaela Lindén

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Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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