A consumer research group has concluded a survey of 1800 U.S. adults and determined that as many as 30% of American are either participating in or contemplating a low-carb diet.

Among the keys findings of the survey of by Opinion Dynamics Corporation of Cambridge, Mass., are:

  • Twenty percent of adults said they had tried a low-carb diet since 2002 and 11% of Americans - 24 million adults - are currently on a low-carbohydrate diet. That is much greater adoption by consumers than experts had previously thought.
  • Nineteen percent of respondents - about 44 million adults - who are not currently on a low-carb diet are "very" or "somewhat" likely to try one in the next two years.
  • The recent significant decrease in orange juice consumption may be almost entirely attributable to greater-than-expected adoption of low-carb diets by consumers.
  • Consumers rely on low-carb brand labels, packaging and advertising when selecting food items. Two thirds of those currently on low-carb diets told Opinion Dynamics it is "very" or "somewhat" important to them that a food item has a specific low-carb brand label when they make purchasing decisions.

The shift captured by this research holds significant implications for how the food and beverage industries can respond to changing consumer preferences. Opinion Dynamics says the research shows that "low carb" is more of a revolution, than a passing fad, and that it will have a dramatic impact on the food and beverage industries.