COMMENT: Interbrew green light for low carb beer
The maker of Rolling Rock is preparing to launch its light beer offering, Rock Green Light. The product follows rising demands for low carbohydrate products by health conscious consumers. Restaurants are also increasingly trying to get a piece of the pie with innovative low carbohydrate offerings and the trend for such products looks set to make a big impact.
Interbrew's Labatt USA unit will be the newest entrant into the lucrative light beer market this October with Rock Green Light, a sub brand of Rolling Rock. The beer will replace Rock Light, the current light version of Rolling Rock, and allow Rolling Rock to enter the low carbohydrate beer category. Rock Green Light will be joining the ranks of Anheuser Busch's Michelob Ultra and Sleeman Group's Sleeman clear.
Rising health concerns, particularly those concerning obesity, are fuelling interest in such alternatives. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the US and approximately 300,000 deaths a year are associated with being overweight or obese. It is estimated that 61% of American adults are overweight or obese.
Interest in these new low carbohydrate beers has also been generated by the popularity of diets such as the Atkins diet that push low carbohydrate foods. Like Michelob Ultra, Rock Green Light will be pushing its low carbohydrate content - the beer has just 2.6 grams of carbohydrates and 92 calories - in advertisements across 40 states.
This latest diet trend is seeing restaurants quickly follow suit. In Atlanta, Balance patrons are offered do-it-yourself menus allowing those on diets to assemble meals that fit their needs. Diners can get the 'six-pack stomach' special, featuring dishes that are low in fat and carbohydrates.
Another chain, Don Pablo's is offering fajitas wrapped in lettuce instead of carbohydrate heavy tortillas and the chain is also trying to develop a margarita drink along similar lines.
These types of premium products can go a long way towards lining the wallets of their producers. For example, the 'six-pack lunch special' sells for a pricey US$14 but appears to be popular despite its cost. Interbrew's Rock Green Light looks set for success given the current frenzied consumer demand for healthy, low carbohydrate products.
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