Blog: Diet Joke - the real thing?
Chris Brook-Carter | 19 January 2004
Indeed, such is the scale of the low-carbohydrate craze that some are labelling it the biggest change to dietary habits since low-fat foods first emerged.
How this will all affect the drinks industry in the long term is still unclear. There are, of course, short-term profits to be made by launching products to pander to the trend - the most high-profile of these being the low-carb beers such as Michelob Ultra. Analysts seem fairly unworried by the effects on PepsiCo, pointing to the news that the company will launch low-carb varieties of its snack foods. How long, then, before the soft drinks companies begin advertising their diet brands as low in carbohydrates or produce other products to meet these needs?
The spirits industry has already taken that step. Diageo, in December, launched a string of national cable ads, positioning Smirnoff as a no-carb alternative. The ads, prompted by a consumer survey that found 63% incorrectly thought spirits like vodka and whisky had more carbs than beer or wine, show Smirnoff being poured into a shot glass while words on the screen proclaim "zero carbs". Smirnoff has also launched a website, www.lowcarbparties.com and hired Ted Allen, wine and food expert from the hit show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, to promote the low-carb content of spirits.
The concern with these approaches - particularly beer - is that, firstly, the craze doesn’t last (see blog from 16 January) meaning, at best, a great deal of wasted time and effort. A more complicated concern to emerge, however, is that, in their success, these brands not only cannibalise their parent products, but also harm them by implying there is something fundamentally unhealthy about them in the first place.
It’s a difficult case to argue, given that diet brands and full calorie parent products have lived side by side for years now. But consumer awareness has been pricked to such an extent in this case, that the fundamental relationship between these products and their low-carb spin offs may be significantly different.
just-drinks is in Berlin this week for Bar Convent Berlin. Here's the second and final part of Andy Morton's blog, which will keep you up-to-date at one of Europe's most important dates in the alcohol...
just-drinks is in Berlin this week for Bar Convent Berlin. Here's the first part of Andy Morton's daily blog, which will keep you up-to-date at one of Europe's most important dates in the alcohol indu...
Responding to criticism on social media is tough. You've got to engage the consumer without starting an argument and - ideally - get them on side....
Want to know how The Coca-Cola Co-backed Keurig Kold - released in the US yesterday - works?...
- AB InBev, SABMiller - Here's what'll happen next
- Is time right for TWE to move for Diageo's wines?
- Is Brown-Forman at the end of the SoCo road?
- Will a sexed-up SABMiller tempt AB InBev?
- Is Brown-Forman doing a Jack Daniel's in Ireland?
- AB InBev makes formal offer for SABMiller
- Diageo secures Xerox Corp CFO as finance head
- Tesco pulls several Carlsberg SKUs in UK
- Diageo makes US$780.5m beer deal with Heineken
- SABMiller formally rejects AB InBev's offer
- The IWSR Duty Free/Travel Retail Summary Report 2015
- Future growth opportunities for global spirits
- Global gin insights - market data, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research