The Tasty Baking Company is famous for its high sugar, high fat, Tastykake snack treats. By marketing Sensables as a healthier option, rather than simply low carb, the dessert company is attempting to increase the range's success beyond the typical market share for a dietetic treat.

Philadelphia-based Tasty Baking, maker of the popular Tastykake brand, has unveiled a sugar free alternative to its indulgent sweet desserts and snacks. The new line, dubbed the Sensables brand, took seven months to develop and includes six products. The 90-year-old baking company, which has had stagnant net sales since 2001, is no doubt looking to increase sales with the new line.

Much recent media attention has centred around the low carb trend currently gripping consumers and its effect on manufacturers producing high carb, high sugar treats. Doughnut maker Krispy Kreme blamed its expected 10% decrease in 2004 profits on the dieting craze, and rolled out a much-publicised low carb donut earlier this year.

Tasty Baking, on the other hand, has taken a different approach with its Sensables line of dietetic snacks. Rather than focusing solely on the low carb trend and consumers who are counting their carbs, the company is marketing the sugar free desserts as diabetic-friendly and generally healthier than other cakes. Sensables products range from 100 to 180 calories and four to eight grams of carbohydrate each, compared to 320 calories for Tastykake's top-selling Butterscotch Krimpet cake.

The sugar free snacks provide Tasty Baking with an opportunity to tap into the growing diabetic market, a segment of consumers that are medically driven, rather than appearance or weight driven. Tasty Baking estimates that one million diabetics live within its core Mid-Atlantic market, and chief marketing officer Vince Melchiorre noted that the company has received requests from diabetics who could not eat their standard products.

As consumers increasingly move towards healthier lifestyles, emphasising the healthy aspects of the new Sensables brand is a strong step in the right direction. Rather than linking brand image with a dieting trend that may arguably lose its popularity over time, Tasty Baking has opted to connect Sensables to a lifestyle that will last in the long term. This tactic may guarantee the brand's success for years to come.

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