By: Talking Nutrition Editors
Consumer interest in healthier lifestyles is growing.
With the holidays looming so, too, are the daunting tasks of choosing which party to attend, which dessert to bring to dinner and which leftover to dig into the next day. It’s almost impossible not to indulge with nearly every holiday event featuring snacks, meals and drinks that aren’t always healthy. One study revealed that on Thanksgiving weekend Americans spend 1.2 hours per day eating and drinking, with another 1.1 hours spent preparing meals. That is a lot of time surrounded by food and drinks – and a lot of temptation.1
What does all that food and drink add up to? Pounds. Americans gain, on average, one pound during each holiday season with overweight adults gaining more.2 As a result, consumers often attempt to combat overeating by creating their own diet plans. However, instead of focusing on the big picture of weight management they are piecing together dieting tips and fads that may show results in the short term but do little for lifestyle change. This could be the reason that their waistlines aren’t changing, or in some cases, increasing, explains a 2017 Mintel report.3
Despite this, the interest in weight loss and healthier lifestyles is prevalent amongst consumers. More than three out of four adults are actively managing their weight and are interested in weight loss in order to improve their health and feel (and look) better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics further sheds light on Americans interested in shedding pounds, reporting that 45 percent of adults aged 25 to 44 are trying to lose weight.1 Though many adults are failing to succeed with self-guided weight management, their interest in weight loss products and advice is booming. Revenues from the sale of weight loss products were estimated to be $60 billion in 2010, while meal replacement products and supplemental drinks logged $4 billion in 2016 sales.4
This data indicates that manufacturers looking to meet the needs of these consumers will find a massive – and growing – consumer base made up of the 100 million dieters in the United States alone.5 Food and beverage manufacturers have significant opportunity to help consumers stay on track with products specifically designed for weight management. Foods and beverages with high satiety value – specifically those high in dietary fiber and low in glycemic ingredients – can aid in curbing hunger between meals. Evidence also suggests that foods in solid format (an energy bar, for example) are more effective at providing short term satiety than liquid calories (such as an energy drink.).6
In addition to foods with satiety-promoting ingredients, formulators may also appeal to this audience with products designed to increase thermogenesis in order to help maintain weight loss and/or to combat the slowdown in metabolism associated with weight loss. In-demand ingredients, such as caffeine, capsaicin, green tea (EGCG), guarana, B vitamin complex and cinnamon, have been found to promote optimal metabolism and thermogenesis. As these ingredients suggest, products like coffees, teas and breakfast bars may be effective vehicles for delivering ingredients with thermogenic properties.
Offering a wide range of food and beverage options that aid in weight management, such as detoxification products for healthy cleansing and meal replacements that incorporate fat burning nutrients, ensure that consumers have their pick of what works best for them. Cleanses represent a significant market in the weight management category with the juicing movement reportedly booming into a $3.4 billion industry.7 Trend spotters in the industry also have their eye on the next big thing in weight management – souping,8 or cleanses with soup instead of juice. As consumers continue to show interest in this weight management trend, manufacturers may be interested in developing soup products designed to help individuals detox. In addition to being effective weight management options, cleanses – whether juice-based or soup-based – offer convenience, which is a key selling point for people on the go.
Consumers have done their research and know the steps that need to be taken to meet their goals, but they often lack the right kind of products that align with those goals. By providing options for different kinds of applications that support their weight loss journeys, there is opportunity to connect with consumers during the six-week holiday window and, ideally, on a year-round basis.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor. (2007, November). BLS Spotlight on Statistics: Thanksgiving. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/2zMJpc
2. Cunningham, E. (2013). What’s the Latest on Holiday Weight Gain? Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/2zMwwiF
3. Gilbert, M. (2017) Weight Management. Mintel. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2AodkGi
4. Moloughney, S. (2017). Lifestyle Solutions to Managing Weight Wellness. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/2A23D2L
5. ABC News Staff. (2012). 100 Million Dieters, $20 Billion: The Weight-Loss Industry by the Numbers. Retrieved from: http://abcn.ws/1fZeIO0
6. Chaudhari, R. (2012). Transform: In Demand Nutrients Targeting Weight Management. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/2A04xtV
7. Hua, K. (2016). Why Juice Generation and the Juice Cleanse Trend Have Survived So Long. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/2zUDqlV
8. Felder, R. (2016). Souping Is the New Juicing. Retrieved from: http://nyti.ms/2hOJm9N