When city lawyer and Atkins diet follower Hannah Sutter became jaded with the US snacks on offer for low-carb dieters in the UK she decided to try and do better herself. Six months later, and with the launch of the first product, she believes she has done just that.
Sutter and fellow Atkins dieter Kevin Dorren, former chief executive of software company Orbital Software, are behind Go Lower, a new company whose raison d'étre is to "revolutionise the way British consumers view low-carb products". And, despite both founders' lack of food industry experience, they are confident of success in a nascent market that is set to grow.
"We did it out of passion," says Sutter. "We looked at existing products and thought, we can make something better than this."
Go Lower was formed back in 2003 to provide a British equivalent to the glut of low-carb imports from the US. While these products were ideal for low-carb consumers, both Sutter and Dorren felt that UK tastes were substantially different and that new products had to be designed to suit the UK palate.
"People in the UK find US products very sweet," says Sutter. "For example, Hershey's chocolate is much sweeter compared with British chocolate. Over here people don't want something so sweet."
Go Lower's first launch has been three low-carb bars more in tune with UK tastes. Developed in Chocolate, Berry and Coconut variants, the bars are made primarily from Brazil nuts and seeds that are naturally low in carbohydrates but also don't contain any ingredients, such as maltitol, that Sutter believes could deter UK consumers. The bars have other perceived benefits, such as being additive free "as we Brits do read our labels and don't want additives", she says.
The bars will be sold at £1.49 each, but Sutter is confident that their British-made qualities will justify the price tag. "We hope we've set up a new market and that people will feel good about buying something British," she says.
Go Lower worked with an unnamed manufacturer for the new bars and is also working with a host of others to extend the range of low-carb snacks. "At the end of the year or in the first quarter of next year we will have around five ranges," she says. The next products could be available by the end of the summer.