business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • Published reports say that Nestle is testing low-carbohydrate versions of some of its chocolate candy products in Scotland, and is charging more for the candy because the sugar substitute it is using costs three times as much as sugar.

    The move reportedly reflects a company belief that the low-carb trend has long-term implications and that food companies need to position themselves to cater to this consumer need.

  • Advertising Age reports that Unilever plans to introduce a re-engineered version of its Slim-Fast line, dubbed “Optima,” which will feature powders, shakes, bars and fruit smoothies with 50 percent less sugar and more calcium, among other benefits – but will not cater to low carb enthusiasts.

    The new line will be marketed in tandem with a line of 18 Slim-Fast products that were designed to appeal to people on low-carb diets.

    However, according to the report, “Optima” is being positioned to take advantage of what Unilever believes will be the next big diet trend – a more balanced approach to nutrition that stresses low-sugar and low-fat.

  • Red Lobster, the national seafood restaurant chain, reportedly will begin including nutritional information on its menu for many items as a way of appealing to health-conscious patrons. The items, dubbed “LightHouse Selections,” will consist of 33 entrees, side dishes and beverages for which calories, carbohydrates and grams of fat will be displayed.

KC's View:
Remarkably, one story we read about the Red Lobster move suggested that this was a “bold move.”

Only in the US food business would the idea that providing nutritional information about meals sold in restaurants be “bold.”