Study finds consumers taking diet pills buy less at certain grocery stores

Introduction to diving:

  • A survey of GLP-1 diet pills shows consumers are spending less at grocery stores Numerator uncovers the purchasing behavior of over 100,000 panel members.

  • The data show that the annual net change Purchase rates between GLP-1 weight loss users and non-GLP-1 users vary by category. Packaged breads, snacks, prepared foods, and legumes and grains have the largest gaps among groups, ranging from 10% to 20%. Other segments such as beverages and fresh foods were essentially flat.

  • The food and beverage industry spent much of 2023 grappling with investor concerns that the popularity of diet pills like Ozempic and Wegovy could sharply reduce sales of items like snacks and prepared meals.

Diving Insights:

While it’s not surprising that people taking diet pills buy less food, Molecular data can give us an idea of ​​what might happen to consumer product manufacturers if more people end up using these drugs.

Over the past three months, overall grocery store purchases among nonusers fell 3.9% compared with a year ago. For people taking the drug to lose less than 15 pounds, purchase rates dropped 11%, Numerator data showed.

Similarly, for ice cream, purchase rates increased by 3.9% among those who did not take the medication, while purchase rates decreased by 9% among those who used ice cream but lost less than 15 pounds. For snacks, the figure fell 2.1%, compared with a decline of 8.8%.

We are in the early stages,” Numerator chief economist Dr. Leo Feler said in a statement.

A year ago, these drugs were used almost exclusively for diabetes management, with only 10% of consumers using them for weight loss, he said. Now, he says nearly half of people are using them to lose weight.

Another 20 percent of households said they were interested in taking the drugs for weight loss but were waiting for prices to drop and for more data to be released on the drugs’ safety and effectiveness, Feler noted.

To be sure, these data, along with the possibility of other, more effective weight-loss drugs, will go a long way toward clarifying how badly food and beverage companies have been affected. It’s uncertain how long people using diet pills will continue taking them.

For now, consumer products companies are watching closely and wisely planning how to change their portfolios as the impact of these drugs becomes known again.

This isn’t the first time shifting consumer trends have prompted companies to change their products.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo launch smaller cans in response to consumers cutting back on sugar; Snack companies increase the availability of 100-calorie snacks for people who want to consume less; Food manufacturers across the board reduce the size of popular products salt content to appease Americans to reduce sodium intake.

PepsiCo Chief Executive Ramon Laguarta told analysts in August that the impact on its business so far had been “negligible” and that “there are obviously a lot of question marks.” Dirk Van de Put, chief executive of Mondelēz International, said that “the whole topic has been exaggerated” and “it’s really not a big issue for us at this stage.” He expects a minimal impact on its trading volume in 10 years, about is 0.5% to 1%.

Sean Connolly, head of Conagra Brands, told investors that the maker of Banquet and Slim Jim is collecting large amounts of data to assess food consumption patterns and determine which ones need to be incorporated into its Product under development. The Chicago company may decide to change some portion sizes if consumers want smaller portions to help with weight loss, he said.

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