New Hood reduced-carbohydrate dairy beverage is endorsed by Atkins Nutritionals

Northeast dairy leader HP Hood, Chelsea, Mass., continues its history of innovation with the introduction of Hood Carb Countdown™, a line of dairy beverages with significantly fewer carbohydrates than milk. The four-variety line appeals to the growing number of low-carbohydrate dieters in America today.

Hood Carb Countdown varieties include Homogenized, 2% Reduced Fat and Fat Free white varieties, and 2% Reduced Fat Chocolate. Hood Carb Countdown provides the essential vitamins and minerals found in milk, without all the carbohydrates. The three white varieties have 75% fewer carbohydrates and 50% more protein than whole milk, while the 2% Reduced Fat Chocolate variety has 90% fewer carbohydrates and 33% more protein than chocolate milk. All varieties provide 3g of carbohydrates per 8-oz serving and offer significantly fewer calories than their higher-carbohydrate alternatives.

Hood Carb Countdown dairy beverages are approved as part of the Atkins Nutritional Approach™ eating plan, which is a low carbohydrate diet. Sugar is a carbohydrate and limited on the Atkins Nutritional Approach, therefore all of the Hood Carb Countdown products are made with the no-calorie sweetener sucralose.

"We reduced the carbohydrates in the milk through a proprietary technology combining ultrafiltration and dairy ingredient technologies," says Peggy Poole, v.p. research and development and quality control.

Low-carb diet boom

In recent years, many people have realized the health and weight-control benefits of monitoring their daily carbohydrate intake, in large part due to the success of the Atkins Nutritional Approach. However, with an average of 12g of carbohydrates per 8-oz serving of white milk and 31g per serving of chocolate milk, it hasn't always been easy to work dairy products into this lifestyle. HP Hood is assisting with this challenge with the rollout of Hood Carb Countdown.

The initial launch of Hood Carb Countdown was in more than 750 Wal-Mart stores in the Northeastern, Southwestern and Southeastern parts of the United States. Recently, the line became available through other retailers in a national rollout. All varieties of Hood Carb Countdown are offered in a half-gallon size with an easy to open and pour twist cap.

"This is a proud moment in Hood's long and venerable history," says John Kaneb, chairman, president and CEO. "With this innovative line of products, Hood continues to successfully lead the dairy industry into new and exciting territories."

The descriptive Hood Carb Countdown brand name and corresponding tagline, coupled with the visually appealing packaging graphics, combine to successfully communicate the benefits and low-carbohydrate composition of the product. The package features the image of a cow and the tempting image of a creamy glass of Hood Carb Countdown, all signifying it as a dairy beverage, while the name suggests its low-carbohydrate characteristics.

"Many consumers following a low-carb diet have told us they miss dairy in their lives," says Mary Ellen Spencer, v.p. brand marketing. "Carb Countdown is a delicious milk replacement for people who follow this nutritional lifestyle, and it's a wonderful way for them to incorporate dairy back into their diets."

Adds Scott Kabak, president of Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., Ronkonkoma, N.Y., "Our goal at Atkins Nutritionals is to help people enjoy healthier lives by making it easier to follow the Atkins Nutritional Approach, a scientifically proven safe and effective way to control carbs and improve overall health. We are delighted to team up with Hood to introduce a delicious dairy beverage into the lives of people doing Atkins."