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    Weight Loss Products Market Looking to Fatten Up, Says Study

    NEW YORK -- Struggling to find a revitalized identity after the bursting of the low-carb bubble slowed the industry's growth to less than 1 percent in 2005, weight-loss product marketers are refocusing their energies on low fat, low sugar, and low glycemic index products to regain market momentum, according to a new study by market research firm Packaged Facts.

    NEW YORK -- Struggling to find a revitalized identity after the bursting of the low-carb bubble slowed the industry's growth to less than 1 percent in 2005, weight-loss product marketers are refocusing their energies on low fat, low sugar, and low glycemic index products to regain market momentum, according to a new study by market research firm Packaged Facts.

    The study, "The U.S. Market for Weight-Loss Products & Trends," projects that the weight-loss products industry-once expected to reach $9 billion by 2008-won't regain the drive it enjoyed in the low-carb craze, which helped the market surge by 22.2 percent between 2002 and 2003. With forecasted sales for over next four years showing a compounded annual growth rate of 7 percent, Packaged Facts anticipates the market will reach $7.5 billion by 2010, bolstered by strong growth in the weight-loss desserts and diet candy sectors.

    "We're seeing a huge shift in marketing tactics and consumer preferences across the board as there is a sense that fad diets may have gone too far," said Don Montuori, the publisher of Packaged Facts. "People still want to lose weight, but they've lost their taste for extreme diets. They want to eat sensibly with a little indulgence; hence there's a shift in market share from frozen dinners and entrees, food bars, and meal replacement liquids and powders losing ground to more enticing desserts and candies, which are being reformulated to meet the demands of the low/no sugar, low fat, low glycemic dietary preferences of today's weight-conscious consumers."

    The study examines eating and food product trends including health, nutrition, and dieting; obesity, food consumption, and weight-loss among adults and children; popular diets; food ingredients/engineering; retail and marketing; and federal weight-loss/nutrition regulations and guidelines.

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