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Reuters reports that food industry experts believe that the fast expanding low-carbohydrate market suggests that a number of mainstream manufacturers will look to acquire smaller companies that specialize in such products.

Low-carb products have been promoted by popular diets like Atkins and South Beach, and embraced by people concerned about their own health amid rising obesity rates. While the trend has endured a fair amount of criticism from the medical community, which continues to insist that a balanced diet and plenty of exercise is a better path to good health, to this point there seems to be only positive signs for growth in the category.

While some companies, like Unilever, already have moved into the category, experts seem to feel that a number of small but strategic acquisitions will be a faster way for major CPG companies to have an impact.

The low-carb business was roughly a $15 billion business last year, but experts believe it can almost double in 2004, and then double yet again in 2005.

Among the best indicators that there is a lot of growth on the horizon seems to be the high-profile position given to the category in many Wal-Mart stores - front and center and piled high with product.
KC's View:
The other thing that Wal-Mart will do to the category is drive the prices lower.

We keep seeing loaves of low-carb bread going for four and five dollars, a couple of bucks less than regular bread. And we keep wondering what exactly makes it more expensive. After all, it's not like they're adding a bunch of stuff to it…they're actually taking out carbohydrates.

By all rights, the bread should be less expensive.