Diet pills’ negative impact on grocery sales

With U.S. obesity rates at or above 35%, weight-loss drug manufacturers have a growing audience.

One of the big trends in 2023 is the impact on grocery sales. The popularity of weight loss drugs, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, which are in the GLP-1 class of drugs, are suppressing appetite and some food purchases.

According to the latest research from data and technology companies molecular, consumers who use GLP-1 drugs tend to spend less on groceries than those who don’t use such drugs. A survey of 100,000 panelists found that purchasing rates across the grocery industry fell 3.9% year-over-year among consumers who had never used such drugs; by comparison, those who had taken the drugs to lose more than 15 pounds Purchase rates fell by 11% among consumers, and by 7.7% among those who lost 15 pounds or less while taking the drugs. People who use these drugs to manage diabetes reported a 2.6% decrease in purchase rates.

[Read more: Opportunities Ahead for Boosting Grocery Foot Traffic]

Numerator took a deep dive into the types of purchases these drug users make. Among consumers taking medications to lose 15 pounds or more, snack purchases fell 7%, ice cream purchases fell 3%, and frozen food sales fell 6.7%. By comparison, consumers taking such drugs to control diabetes saw their purchases of snacks fall by 2.1% and frozen meals by 0.9%, but their purchases of ice cream actually increased by 3.9%.

Dr. Leo Feleer, chief economist at Numerator, said growing calls for such drugs to be used for weight loss are having an impact on industries such as grocers and consumer products. dessert and desserts. “We’re in the early stages,” he explained. A year ago, nearly all users of these drugs were using them for diabetes management, and only 10% were using them for weight loss. Today, nearly 50% of people who use these drugs do so to lose weight. Right now, as we see an increase in the number of people using these medications, there’s also 20% of families who say they’re interested in taking these medications for weight loss in the future, and they’re just waiting for the price to come down and learn about the safety and effectiveness of these medications. “

Anne-Marie Roerink, principal at insights company 210 Analytics in San Antonio, Texas, shared her thoughts on the impact of diet pills on purchasing habits. It is estimated that about 5% to 7% of U.S. adults are using drugs such as Ozempic or Wegovy. The drug was developed for type 2 diabetes and it’s important to remember that weight loss may or may not be the driving factor in taking these drugs, she told Progressive Grocer in a recent interview, adding that there are other factors at play. effect. Therefore, people with diabetes may have had to change their choices in the snack and dessert categories to address diabetes. For those who take these drugs primarily for weight loss, shopping choices may be affected by the drug’s appetite-suppressing or hunger-suppressing effects.

While some shoppers taking such medications may be cutting back on certain grocery purchases due to a weakened appetite, many are also focused on the bigger picture, Rollink said. The snacks and desserts category are typically part of a treat or snack moment rather than a meal replacement. Ice cream, cupcakes, donuts and more are often rooted in holistic health, which many consumers consider just as important as making nutritious and healthy choices during other dining occasions. She points out that if we think about why most diets ultimately fail, the reason is often that it’s too restrictive to sustain over a period of time, especially if it’s priced at $1,000 a month.

Roerink goes on to say that today’s mindset is more about balanced eating than demonization, and even strongholds like the ketogenic diet have been replaced by a focus on protein rather than the complete elimination of carbs. Even during the heyday of the Ketogenic, Paleo, and Atkins diets, the snacks and baking category performed well, which is a great indicator that most people would make more balanced choices, but not Too likely to exit the category.

[Read more: “Keto-Friendly and Functional Items Dominate Bread Category“]

Retailers are also openly talking about whether and how weight loss drugs affect behavior.In October, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner Interviewed by Bloomberg News The company found that shoppers taking medications like Wegovy and Ozempic had slightly lower overall shopping baskets, fewer units and slightly fewer calories.

This week, Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon confirmed that the retail giant is paying close attention to these trends. We can see some changes in categories as people think about losing weight, he says in the book. Interviewed by CNBC. For example, they buy more fresh food. So, there are some changes around, but I can’t predict what’s going to happen in the long term. This is a developing story.

FMCG is also feeling the knock-on effects. During an October earnings call, ConAgra Brands CEO Sean Connolly reported that the company was monitoring expanded use of the weight-loss drug. “If we end up seeing changes in consumer eating patterns, assuming they are eating smaller portions, then we will design smaller portions,” he commented.

Nestl√©, meanwhile, revealed in a recent earnings call that it is considering adding to its portfolio following these trends. CEO Mark Schneider said, “We have developed a number of complementary products for patients while they are taking these drugs and beyond.” The goals are to address the risk of malnutrition and loss of lean muscle mass during GLP-1 treatment and to avoid or limit post-treatment weight regain. These innovations are right in our wheelhouse and we can bring our deep understanding of nutritional science and proper supplementation to the table.

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