Consumers on weight-loss drugs buying less in certain grocery aisles, study finds

By: Trademagazin editor Date: 2023. 12. 13. 09:15

Buy rates are down as much as 20% in some categories, with bakery and snacks among the hardest hit, Numerator found.

Consumers using GLP-1 medication for weight loss are spending less in grocery stores, a survey of the purchasing behaviors of more than 100,000 panelists by Numerator found.

“We are in early stages,” Dr. Leo Feler, Numerator’s chief economist, said in a statement. He said a year ago, nearly all the use of these drugs was for diabetes management, with only 10% of consumers using the medications for weight loss. Now, he said nearly half of people are using them for weight loss. Feler noted that an additional 20% of households said they are interested in taking the medicines to lose weight but are waiting for prices to come down and for more data to be released on the safety and efficacy of the drugs.

The data showed that year-over-year net change in buy rates between GLP-1 weight loss users and non-GLP-1 users varied by category. Packaged bakery, snacks, prepared foods, and beans and grains had the largest divides among the groups at between 10% to 20%. Other departments like beverages and fresh meal kits were largely flat.

The food and beverage industries have spent much of 2023 responding to investor concern that the popularity of weight-loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy could sharply lower sales for items such as snacks and prepared meals.

It’s not the first time a shift in consumer trends has sparked companies to change their products. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have introduced smaller cans in response to consumers cutting back on sugar; snack companies have increased the availability of 100-calorie count snacks for those aiming to consume less; and food makers across the board have reduced how much salt they include in popular offerings to appease Americans cutting back on sodium.

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