Unilever Bestfoods claims its new range of low-carb groceries will be a breakthrough for health-conscious consumers.
Its Carb Options is a huge hit in the United States, offering everyday low carbohydrate products at a modest premium to standard offerings.
And the food giant believes it can replicate that success on this side of the Atlantic by targeting the growing numbers of consumers who are keen to reduce carbohydrates in their diet but are not looking to follow a strict Atkins diet.
The 17-strong range, which has been reformulated for UK tastes, will initially comprise dried pasta (rsp: £1.99), recipe sauces (£1.49), soups (99p), mayonnaise (£1.49) and salad
dressings (£1.49). The products will be marked up by 25-33% over conventional offerings. Ragu, for example, typically sells for £1.10 whereas the Carb Options bolognese will be £1.49.
The carb content of the products has been slashed compared with standard Unilever offerings.
For example, a typical French dressing has 14.9g per 100g, while the Carb Options variant has just 0.8g. Category controller Tony Henderson said the carbs had been replaced by fibre, vegetable paste and in some cases sucralose, rather than fat.
Henderson claimed the range would also allow consumers to make a low-carb choice without compromising the taste or quality of their meals.
To reinforce that message, the new Carb Options products will be endorsed by Unilever’s Knorr and Hellmann’s brands.
He added: “Carb Options provides a broad range of mainstream products that provide consumers with the option to create lower-carb versions of the meals they would normally eat.”
There will be heavyweight support - including instore promotions, sampling and advertising.
Julian Hunt