Posted by Dale Buss on January 14, 2011 10:30 AM
Add Atkins to the brigade of weight loss brands aiming to help turn new year's resolutions into beach-ready reality.
It seems like every major player in the weight-loss market is refining its approach this year, each trying to break out of the pack and find a different way of appealing to dieters, who remain largely frustrated and uninspired by traditional approaches. The stubborn national obesity rate is one evidence.
Atkins Nutritionals is joining Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig in hatching a new appeal during this heavy season of dieting. It's offering a free, home-delivered “weight-loss kit,” providing people with chef-created low-carb recipes; expanding resources online, a crucial outlet for the weight-loss industry; and expanding its multimedia ad campaign featuring actress and brand spokeswoman Courtney Thorne-Smith.
Notably, Atkins’ message these days isn’t all about eliminating carbs from your diet and stuffing yourself with proteins. That philosophy put Atkins on the map several years ago when its original Atkins Diet was the craze. But like every other silver bullet in the weight-loss fight, that regimen faded as well.
So now, Atkins is promoting a balanced diet, as underscored by the content of the recipes it provides.
Even more important, though, Atkins is trying to create more momentum behind the crucial sales of its own diet products. Sales of its branded bars and shakes rose by strong double-digit percentages last year, the second of a three-year recovery in Atkins products. This year, Atkins is adding new flavors of some of its bars.
Still, diet brands like Atkins don’t want to go too far afield in how they position themselves in the market. The basic problem of overweight is ancient, but it’s getting worse for Americans every year.
And in that environment, there’s no message like a direct one. For Atkins this year, it’s, “Lose up to 15 pounds in 2 weeks.”