Atkins Nutritionals, the privately held low-carb leader, which grew in 2004 at a frenzied pace, to include a wide range of products including bread and baked goods, frozen foods and shelf stable entrees heads to hearings in a Bankruptcy Court today. As reported in the today’s New York Times, Atkins announced that it reached agreements with a majority of its lenders for a reduction of debt, in exchange for equity.
No doubt back in 2003 the skyrocketing growth of low-carb foods offered some lots of reasons for expansion but the Atkins growth plan seemed fueled less by sales projections and a model of strong internal business development and by something entirely different. Whether it was the unwieldy optimism of once fat employees enjoying their new low-carb waistlines or just plan bad planning, we cant say. But what we do know is that with each new category the company entered, we were left scratching our heads, thinking “what planet are they on?”
Either way, it looks like Atkins is becoming another entry to the long list of companies whose hyper kinetic approach to growth makes the afterglow of their crash and burns so interesting to watch.