US food giant H J Heinz has said it is planning new low-carbohydrate varieties of its Smart Ones frozen meals range, in order to take advantage of the popularity of the Atkins diet.

Chief growth officer Kenneth Keller said the company would also soon announce new additions to its Ore-Ida frozen potatoes line, which has experienced softness.

“We will have new items and we will be flagging items with low-carbohydrate food content in the very near future,” Keller was quoted by Dow Jones News Service as saying, referring to the Smart Ones range.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based company reported earnings of US$214.0m, or 60 cents a share, for the first quarter to 30 July, compared with $100.0m, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items and a change in accounting rules in the year-ago quarter, Heinz posted earnings from continuing operations of $179.8m, or 51 cents a share, compared with $166.0m, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. That result was in line with analysts’ expectations, reported Reuters.