The popularity of the Atkins diet, negatively impacting a number of sectors of the food industry, shows no signs of fading. A new survey, released by the the Hospital Saving Association health insurance firm this week, claims that four in 10 people are planning an Atkins-conscious Christmas dinner.
Turkey sales will not suffer, but alcohol, potatoes, stuffing and Christmas pudding will be a no-go area.
The Christmas period is always followed by new attempts at dieting and New Year resolutions for weight loss. But the all-year round popularity of the Atkins diet has much to do with Britain's escalating obesity rates. The International Obesity Task Force think-tank recently warned that without immediate action, up to 40 per cent of the population could become obese.
A survey carried out earlier this year estimated that 3 million Britons are now on the Atkins diet, much to the concern of some health experts who believe it may cause damage in the long-term.
Safeway would be the first retailer to show such significant support for the booming trend among British consumers. All products with less than 10 per cent carbohydrate content would be prominently labelled as 'low carb' with on-shelf labelling to highlight the products.
Datamonitor claims that supermarkets in the UK have been slow to realise the added value they can offer to consumers by highlighting which products are suitable for the currently fashionable diets.
"Safeway's new strategy will probably be successful, and as such should spark a host of similar initiatives among its competitors. Given the pressure from the government to crack down on obesity, supermarkets should be glad of the opportunity to prove that they care about their customers' health," comment the analysts.