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Label of Choice? Low-carb

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Pity the product without a low-carb label.

To avoid being overlooked by millions of carb-counting consumers, products that never had many -- or even any -- carbs are increasingly advertising that fact.

* Hansen's Natural diet sodas now have a ''No Carbs'' label on the can. Diet Pepsi in January started promoting itself as ''0 carbs. 0 calories.''

* Fresh Express spinach this month started labeling bags with ''Low Carb Living Made Easy.'' Spokeswoman Robin Sprague says the company aims to cut through the clutter regarding vegetables and carbs. The low-carb Atkins diet allows some spinach even in the restrictive early stages of the diet but doesn't allow ''starchy'' veggies such as potatoes and carrots.

* Kraft Foods, maker of Planters peanuts, has a new ad that reminds consumers that Planters has been counting carbs for ''over 85 years.''

Look for more no-carb or low-carb labels on products once the FDA decides exactly what that is, says Dean Rotbart, chairman of LowCarbiz, an industry Web site.

Most of the companies haven't changed the contents of their goods, they've simply discovered a ''hidden asset,'' he says.

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© Copyright 2004 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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