With obesity rates hovering around 40 percent in the United States, it’s no wonder that Americans are continuously searching for a diet that will help them shed pounds. The latest and greatest to grab the attention of consumers is the ketogenic (keto) diet. This has led to a growing number of manufacturers formulating keto-friendly products with the hopes of capturing loyal, repeat buyers.
Understanding the Ketogenic Diet
High in fat and protein with low carbohydrates, the keto diet was developed in the 1920s to treat epilepsy in children. However, it has surged in popularity in recent years for the purpose of weight loss. This largely has been fueled by celebrities who practice the diet, including Kim Kardashian and Halle Berry.
The challenge for everyday dieters who attempt to go “keto” is the restrictions on carbohydrates. Focused on foods like meat, poultry, eggs, fish, nuts and dairy, the diet can be difficult to sustain – especially for those who are accustomed to eating large amounts of bread, rice and other grains.
This poses an opportunity for manufacturers to develop and promote products that meet the needs for this growing segment of consumers. For some, it’s a matter of reformulating or developing products that contain carbohydrates. And for others, it’s about changing labeling to promote products that already fit into a keto diet.
The Cauliflower Craze
Once considered the bland, less colorful relative to broccoli, cauliflower has gained popularity as part of the keto diet trend. And, it is increasingly being used in products as a substitute for carbohydrate-rich foods like rice and flour. This includes ready-to-bake pizza with cauliflower pizza crusts and grain free pasta made from cauliflower.
Cali’flour Foods has become a leading brand in cauliflower-focused products. Sold in Whole Foods Markets and many natural food markets, Cali’flour product line includes pizza crusts, crackers, flatbreads and pasta made from cauliflower, egg whites, cheese, lentils and other gluten free, grain free ingredients.
Even mainstream brands, like Green Giant, have recently introduced riced cauliflower and other riced vegetables which can be used as a substitute for traditional rice. On the brand’s website, recipes are provided to help introduce customers to this new product and help them create dishes that meet the requirements of the keto diet.
More Than Just Vegetables
Julian Bakery is another brand that is popular with followers of the keto diet with a range of products that include flavored egg white protein powder, protein bars, grain free pastas and breads, and even chocolate bars. Like Cali’flour Foods, Julian Bakery’s products are sold in natural food stores and Whole Foods Markets across the United States.
With the rise in popularity of the keto diets, Whole Foods now offers guidance to customers online to help them identify products within their stores that meet the guidelines of the keto diet. By simply typing keto into a search field, a large list of keto-friendly products appears for online users to peruse. Products include meat, vegetables and dairy products, as well as items like almond butter, Parmesan crisps and unsweetened almond milk.
With celebrities touting the benefits of the keto diet, its popularity likely will continue until the next “big thing” in weight loss rises to awareness with consumers. In the meantime, manufacturers have a unique opportunity to gain market share by selling keto-friendly” products that provide a tasty, healthful substitute for carbohydrate-rich foods.