Fresh bread sales in the US are on the rise, indicating that the Atkins diet is further loosening its grip on dieters.

Grocery stores reported sales up 3% to $6.1bn in the last two years, after seeing a 2% dip in 2003/4. US sandwich and bakery stores also reported sales up 13% since 2004.

Industry analysts said fast food chains, such as Jack in the Box, avoided a big fallout from the low-carb craze because they were quick to respond with wraps and salads. Jack in the Box recently launched a Bread is Back campaign.

The proportion of adults on a low-carb diet in the US is down from 16% in early 2005 to 10% this year, according to research.