Joining the ranks of companies adding low-carbohydrate foods to their product offerings, US natural and organic food company the Hain Celestial Group this week announced the launch of Carb Fit, a natural low-carbohydrate food brand, containing no trans-fats, hydrogenated oils or taste- and stability-enhancing chemicals.
All Carb Fit products are kosher and will be co-branded with well-known Hain Celestial brands including Hain Pure Snax, DeBoles Pasta, and Health Valley, among others. Hain hopes this will help communicate the Carb Fit product value and taste to consumers purchasing these brands.
Despite some researchers reporting increased risks of certain forms of cancer as well as liver and kidney disease through consumption of Atkins-style, low-carb, high-fat diets, the short-term effectiveness of the diet for weight loss appears to have gripped the nation. Last week a group of independent food experts told the US Senate that the country's current guidelines on food, which recommend six to 11 servings of carbohydrates a day, were contributing to US obesity problems.
"We are very conscious of the rising level of obesity in the US, particularly among children," commented Irwin Simon, president and chief executive officer of Hain Celestial. "Recent research indicates that more than 60 per cent of all consumers purchasing products lower in carbohydrates are doing so as part of a weight reduction program," he continued.
Simon said New York-based Hain's objective was to "provide great-tasting, natural products that meet this need, and instil consumer confidence in the taste and quality of these products by co-branding our new Carb Fit name with our other well-known brands, in the categories in which they are best known".
The initial launch of Carb Fit will include 'Carb Fit/Hain Pure Snax Twirls', a corkscrew-shaped crispy soy snack, available in Nacho and Ranch favours with only five net carbs per serving and 'Carb Fit/Hain Pure Snax Soy Nuts' a crunchy new snack in salted and red hot flavors with six net carbs per serving.
Meanwhile Hain's Carb Fit/DeBoles Pasta is said to contain 77 per cent less carbs than regular pasta with a total of eight to nine grams of net carbs per serving. The pasta is available in four varieties, penne, rotini, elbow and spaghetti.
For those after a sweeter option Hain has created Carb Fit/Health Valley Cookies. Available in chocolate chip, peanut butter and almond varieties, each cookie contains six to eight grams of net carbs.
The company said future co-branded initiatives were underway for other new products to launch in January 2004.