Local News

Bakeries Fight To Keep Customers During Low-Carb Craze

Posted December 17, 2003 1:41 a.m. EST

— Millions of Americans are on low-carbohydrate diets. While they are fighting fat, bakeries are fighting to keep customers.

Maria Knowles is on the Adkins diet, one of the most popular low-carb diets. She avoids things like bread and pasta.

"I don't go down those aisles. I look at the top and if it says pasta, I pass that one up," she said.

Many customers are just like Knowles and many businesses are feeling the pinch.

"Systemwide, sales are down and we are all contributing it to the low-carb craze," said Linda Healy of the Great Harvest Bread Co.

The numbers are not just down. Customers seem to be changing their tastes from the refined white breads to whole grains. Some bakeries have started selling more wheat breads and are looking at diet breads.

"If you're going to succeed in business, you've got to listen to what the customers say and if they want the low-carb bread, we're going to give it a try," Healy said.

Many bakeries are starting to sell low-carb breads in addition to their other products. Low-carb bread has as many as 13 fewer grams of carbohydrates than regular bread.