Largo, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/26/2006 -- The largest low carb store in the Southeastern United States has been undergoing a steady transformation in the last year to meet the changing needs of Tampa Bay’s growing diabetic population. Since LoCarb Connection opened in Largo two years ago, the fickle low carb market has gone from one extreme to the other. Originally, the store’s main focus was to cater to low carb dieters, but one year ago, that all changed. The bottom fell out of the low carb market due to the overproduction of low carbohydrate food by too many manufacturers. Since all grocery items are perishable and have expiration dates, the industry lost billions of dollars because of food going unsold by the expiration dates. A serious market correction in the last year has resulted in the elimination of 80 percent of the available low carb products that used to be found on grocery and health food store’s shelves. LoCarb Connection’s owner, Holly Recalde stated that, “With the diabetic epidemic sweeping across the country, we recognized that we had to adapt our store to meet the needs of the growing diabetic population. We wanted to create a place where diabetics could come and shop for sugar free items that were also low in carbohydrates. Many people do not realize that when you see a label that says sugar free, it usually contains a high amount of carbohydrates. This sugar free/high carb combination can be misleading to both diabetics and low carb dieters since it offers no benefit to either and can negatively effect blood sugar levels”.
Since repositioning the store as a diabetic grocery store, the number of diabetic customers has out numbered our low carb dieters. “We have new diabetic customers coming in everyday, and many of those are newly diagnosed as diabetic. Their first question is always, where is your diabetic section? The funny part is that the entire store is the diabetic section. With over 2500 different items in stock, it’s been very challenging for us to keep the store stocked as well as it is with low carb and sugar free items. We now order direct from many different food manufacturers instead of the easier alternative of buying through a distributor. This is not by choice, but was forced as a result of the market correction last year. It’s been very rewarding to see customers come in and realize that they can have breads, cookies, chips and other items that they have been missing in their local supermarket. We even have regulars that drive in from Orlando and Ft. Myers to shop, and our shipping is really beginning to pick up too”.
LoCarb Connection is open Monday – Friday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.