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Carb Your Enthusiasm

Here's the skinny on how to tap into the hot low-carb market.

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This story appears in the April 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

No question about it, low-carb diets have taken over thecollective consciousness and the U.S. food industry. Whetherit's Atkins or carbohydrate-restrictive diets that boast aneffective weight-loss alternative to traditional low-fat, carb-richplans, consumers eager to shed fat are flooding the marketplace insearch of low-carb products. With an estimated 1 in 4 Americans onsome low-carb diet and 17 million with diabetes, entrepreneurs havefound a new health haven.

While major fast-food and casual-dining restaurants havescrambled to jump on the low-carb bandwagon, entrepreneurs took offrunning long before big corporations even made a move. GerryMorrison, 41, and Jeff Greder, 40, started Carbolite FoodsInc., offering the first low-carb, sugar-free soft-serve icecream in 1999, when low-fat diets were still the rage. Recognizinga shift in the diet industry, they quickly expanded their Carboriteline to focus on an array of low-carb products, including shakes,bread mixes, candy bars and cookies. And they've watchedrevenues from their Evansville, Indiana, company skyrocket from$800,000 in 1999 to a projected $150 million for 2004.

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