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Everything in Moderation

Feel like being bad, but not that bad? Business hears you. New products show the market for moderation is becoming, uh, immoderate. Here are some guilty pleasures you can feel good about.

Michelob Ultra

  • Debuted: Autumn 2002
  • Vital stats: 2.6 grams of carbs and 95 calories versus 13.3 grams and 155 calories in Michelob.
  • Who it's for: "Fitness enthusiasts [and those with] active lifestyles."
  • Our take: Beer? Active lifestyle? Is anyone else getting nauseous?

Pepsi Edge

  • Set to debut in late summer
  • Vital stats: 70 calories and 20 grams of carbs versus 150 calories and 41 grams for plain Pepsi.
  • Who it's for: " 'Dual users' of both regular and diet soft drinks."
  • Our take: If they can make a healthy beer, this will be a breeze.

Krispy Kreme low-sugar doughnut

  • In early development
  • Vital stats: Presumably less than the 10 grams of sugar in a regular glazed.
  • Who it's for: "One of many strategies to appeal to all potential customers."
  • Our take: If it even resembles a doughnut, it should be a winner.

Lexus RX 400h

  • Gas-electric SUV hybrid, available by year's end
  • Vital stats: "Better than" 27 mpg.
  • Who it's for: "Redefines the midsize luxury SUV market while raising awareness [for hybrid vehicles]."
  • Our take: Finally, you can hog the road with a clean conscience.

A version of this article appeared in the June 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.