Atkins founded Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. in 1989 to promote the low-carbohydrate products of his increasingly popular Atkins diet. This diet was developed after Atkins read a research paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The paper, entitled "Weight Reduction," was published by Alfred W. Pennington in 1958. Atkins used information from the study to resolve his own overweight condition.
In October 2003 Parthenon Capital LLC and Goldman Sachs both acquired stakes in the company. Following the death of its founder in 2003, the popularity of the diet and demand for Atkins products waned, causing Atkins Nutritionals Inc. to file for bankruptcy in July 2005, citing losses of $340 million.
The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2007 owned by North Castle Partners, with a softened marketing emphasis on the low-carbohydrate aspect of its products and an attempt to emphasize the overall nutritional value of its line of foods. It now has in place a business strategy concentrating on sales of nutrition bars and shakes.
Roark Capital Group bought the company in 2010. Under Roark it has stabilized but it is rumored to be a disappointment and its 6 year hold period is longer than typical for private equity firms. In February 2015 it was reported that Roark was seeking to sell the company but no buyer ever materialized.
The Atkins Nutritionals' products are low-carbohydrate. Although the marketing focus of the company has changed after their emergence from bankruptcy, the products remain low-carbohydrate to stay faithful to the philosophy of the diet. It is also stated on the packages the stage of the Atkins Nutritional Approach where they may be used. There are four lines of Atkins products, Advantage, Day Break, Endulge and Cuisine.
In the Advantage line, the main products are meal bars, snacks and shakes. The Advantage bars claim to be "a satisfying meal replacements or filling snacks". The Advantage Snack/Light Meal Bars claim to "help fight hunger in-between meals". The Advantage Shakes claim to have "protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals with almost no sugar".
Products of the Advantage Bars include:
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Chocolate Chip Granola
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Cookie n’ Crème
- Peanut Butter Granola
- Peanut Fudge Granola
Products in the Advantage Snack/Light Meal Bars family include:
- Caramel Chocolate Nut Roll
- Caramel Chocolate Peanut Nougat
- Caramel Double Chocolate Crunch
- Caramel Fudge Brownie
- Cashew Trail Mix
- Coconut Almond Delight
- Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Crunch
- Dark Chocolate Decadence
- Sweet & Salty Almond Crunch
Products of the Advantage Shakes family include:
- Café Caramel
- Dark Chocolate Royale
- Milk Chocolate Delight
- Mocha Latte
The Day Break line includes bars and shakes designed to be a morning snack or light breakfast to help fight morning hunger.
Day Break Bars include:
- Apple Crisp
- Blueberry Almond Baked Square
- Cherry Pecan
- Chocolate Chip Crisp
- Chocolate Hazelnut
- Chocolate Oatmeal Fiber
- Cinnamon Bun
- Cranberry Almond
- Oatmeal Cinnamon Baked Square
- Peanut Butter Fudge Crisp
- Vanilla Fruit & Nut
Day Break Shakes include:
- Creamy Chocolate
- Strawberry Banana
- Wild Berry
The Endulge line produces low-carbohydrate candy bars that are designed to taste like the average candy bars, but with less than 2g of sugar.
Products of the Endulge Bars family include:
- Caramel Nut Chew
- Chocolate Caramel Mousse
- Chocolate Coconut
- Chocolate Crème Sandwich Cookies
- Nutty Fudge Brownie
- Peanut Butter Cups
- Peanut Caramel Cluster
The Cuisine products are designed to make cooking at home easy and delicious.
- All-Purpose Baking Mix
- Penne Pasta
- "Atkins Nutritionals files for bankruptcy". AP. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- Walsh, Fiona (10 December 2010). "Atkins diet firm sells out to Roark Capital". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- Products - Atkins product pages, retrieved 16 August 2012