Low carb foods at PCC

Sound Consumer | June 2004

Produce aisle at our Fremont PCC store.

(June 2004) — Since low carb diets became popular, PCC buyers have heard from many shoppers who want to know why they can't find a lot of "low carb products" in our stores. Actually, they're all around our stores!

The typical low carb diet advocates eliminating highly processed, refined products and returning to a whole food diet — that is, foods that are minimally processed. That's what PCC is all about.

Consider the hundreds of choices in our produce section. Consider PCC's meats, poultry, seafood, tofu, tempeh, cheeses and bulk nuts.

If you want lower carb pasta, choose whole grain pasta that's naturally high in fiber. If you want low carb bread, consider a whole grain, sprouted grain, or even sprouted whole grain no-bake bread (found in the frozen case). If you want something sweet, put berries in your basket, one of the highest-fiber fruits, and naturally low in carbs.

There's another reason shoppers find relatively few low carb versions of naturally high carb foods in our stores. It has to do with PCC's product standards. Any and all products approved for our stores are carefully reviewed and must meet PCC's ingredient standards. This means no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. Because most low carb products contain artificial sweeteners, they don't measure up.

In addition, PCC seeks out foods that taste good. Our buyers have sampled countless products pitched as low carb that simply leave the palate wanting, or worse. Grocery merchandiser Stephanie Steiner says, "I'm a foodie, and I've tasted more low carb products than I care to remember. If eating isn't enjoyable, why bother?" Steiner says she finds an odd chemical aftertaste lingers in many products marketed as low carb, especially sweet goods.

Nevertheless, Steiner says her team understands that the demand exists for low carb foods. PCC's commitment is to support choice for consumers, but educate them in the process.

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