Unilever is reviewing its Carb Options range of products less than a year after launch because of a fall in popularity of the low-carb diet, The Grocer has learnt.
Carb Options, launched in September last year at the height of the diet’s craze, is seen as the flagship brand in low carb. Products include pasta, tomato and barbecue sauces, cooking sauces, snack bars, salad dressings and packet soups.
Unilever said the range was launched in response to rapidly growing consumer interest in lower-carb foods. It added: “Currently fewer consumers are following a low-carb diet, so this category has declined in interest. Because of this, we are reviewing performance with retailers.”
Heinz owns the other major
branded range in the category, and is also believed to be reviewing its Carb Check range, less than six months after launch.
A company source said Heinz had told employees it was reviewing products in its 18-strong Carb Check range. Heinz declined to comment as The Grocer went to press.
Carb Check contains foods for breakfast through to dinner including cereal, strawberry and blackcurrant fruit spreads, tuna and chicken snack pots, pasta sauces, spaghetti, fusilli, cereal bars, cookies, ketchup and a mild mustard salad dressing.
Nestlé Rowntree axed its low-carb Kit Kat in May, replacing it with low-carb Double Chocolate (The Grocer, May 7, p70).
Tesco, which has the largest low-carb range of all the retailers with 170 lines, has said it will continue to stock products in its health and beauty fixture. However, the retailer is strongly backing low GI, as an alternative, and aims to have tested 1,000 products by Christmas.
David Bird, senior analyst at Mintel, said: “I wouldn’t write off low carb completely. Retailers such as Tesco, with its Carb Control, seem to be quite active.”
Tic Tac has a new positioning, marking the end of its three-year ‘Shake your Tic Tacs’ advertising campaign. A commercial breaks on Monday (July 11) and is the first in the brand’s new strapline - ‘Full of Refreshing Little Lifts’. It shows a man missing a bus and consoling himself with a Fresh Mint Tic Tac. Suddenly, tiny Tic Tac figures appear and lift him up, catching up with the bus and putting him on board.
Stefan Chomka