Nestlé may have canned Jenny Craig, and regulators clamped down on the sector's claim-making, but weight management products are booming globally, especially in increasingly image driven emerging economies like India and Brazil. It has pushed beyond $150bn (€110m) in global sales this year (not including food supplements).
“It was actually the second largest health trend globally, just behind general wellbeing,” said Ewa Hudson, Euromonitor International global head of health and wellness research, at Food Ingredients Europe in Frankfurt, Germany, recently.
“We expect it grow by 34% by 2019 so it is a pretty strong growth,” Hudson said.
The growth was being driven by emerging markets like Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and India.
“For example Brazil added just over $700m (€518m) in new sales just in one year but…in 2013 India will be in the lead with new sales of over $800m (€592m).”
Hudson noted formats differed very much in emerging markets where, say, in India dairy dominated compared to a broader range of options in mature markets like North America and western Europe.
Despite the Nestlé exit, weight management remains important to the biggest food companies, it being the most important health category to Coca-Cola and others.