Food and drink launches with low carbohydrate claims have doubled (+95%) in Europe over the past five years, according to the latest research by Mintel.
Diets such as 5:2, Dukan, or high protein have been popular in recent years, an while low carb diets looked to have peaked around 2004, Mintel suggests that they are now experiencing a resurgence in Europe.
The most popular categories seeing low carb launches are interestingly those traditionally associated with carbs, said the analyst. In 2013, 10% of new low carbohydrate food and drink launches were pasta products, 10% baking ingredients or mixes, 9% bread and 8% snack, cereal and energy bars.
The top three countries in Europe for new low carbohydrate food and drink product launches are France, accounting for 17% in 2013, followed by Germany and Spain, accounting for 15%.
Laura Jones, food science analyst at Mintel, said: "Low carb diets were made famous with the advent of the Atkins diet, which reached its peak in popularity in 2004. Since then the number of followers of the diet has dropped off and a decline in the launch of low carb food and drink products has been witnessed globally.
However, the Atkins diet did manage to make consumers a lot more ‘carb conscious’ and aware of the quantity and quality of carbohydrates they consume and this underlying level of consciousness has been retained by some consumers."
Mintel added that the trend for high protein foods was aiding the comeback of low carbohydrate products, with many launches in the food and drink category carrying both a low carb and high protein claim - up 57% between 2008 and 2013.