FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, September 24, 2004

Another One Bites the Dust

Interstate Baking Corp., the bakery responsible for Twinkies, Wonder Bread, and other confectionary delights, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Among the reasons stated for the move were declining sales, igniting speculation that Americans' move toward lower-carb diets was to blame at least in part.

If so, it wouldn't be the first time that the low-carb craze has hurt traditional food retailers. In May, New World Pasta, which makes San Giorgio and other pasta brands, also filed for Chapter 11. And the Krispy Kreme donut chain has been struggling for the past several months.

All these closures point to a fundamental shift in our eating habits. What foods are more American than Twinkies and Wonder Bread (except maybe for apple pie)? For the maker of these staples to go belly-up (pun only partially intended) suggests that the Atkins-inspired low-carb movement is no mere craze. In fact, we may be witnessing the most profound change in diet since processed foods, frozen foods and supermarkets arrived en masse after the end of World War II. Seems like we're finally starting to put our health -- or at least our physiques -- ahead of our taste buds.