Forbes, Carrefour confident over Reducol roll-out

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Reducol could have a big impact on heart disease rates in France,
say Forbes Medi-Tech and Carrefour, the supermarket giant that
recently launched a range of yoghurt products containing the
cholesterol-lowering ingredient.

Carrefour is world's second largest retailer in the world, and the largest in Europe. It operates 12,000 stores in 29 countries. The cholesterol-lowering yoghurts were launched at Carrefour-owned Champion in France in October, under the Agir Nutrition brand.

France has a reputation as a gastronomic centre. Although the traditional diet is high in fat, French heart disease rates have been around half those of the US - a factor known as the French Paradox.

But as with many countries, there has been a shift towards fast food and other convenient but less healthy eating options in recent times, which is having an impact on waist lines and incidence of lifestyle-related diseases like heart disease and obesity.

Forbes Medi-Tech and Carrefour are confident about the success of the Agir Nutrition products in the market following a survey undertaken last month by the Opinion Way Institute amongst 1000 French people aged between 18 and 70 years.

The survey uncovered a high level of awareness about cardiovascular disease, with 63 per cent of those questioned recognising it as the leading cause of mortality in France. Moreover, 82 per cent of those who have already been treated for high cholesterol.

Fifty-nine per cent of men and 41 per cent of women said they were worried about their cholesterol levels, and overall forty-four percent said they had consulted a doctor on the subject in the last two year.

There also seems to be an openness to measures to address high levels of bad cholesterol: seven per cent said they have started taking nutraceuticals to counter it.

The introduction of Reducol-containing products in France follows similar entries with major retailers in other European markets, including the UK (Tesco), Finland (Kesko), and The Netherlands (The Netherlands' Albert Heijn). In these markets products have been priced lower than competitive cholesterol-lowering brands, so as to be affordable to more people, regardless of budget.

Forbes Medi-Tech investor relations manager Darren Seed told that Reducol is becoming a household name in Europe. The Canadian company's next focus will on its southern neighbours, in the US.

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