While there have been some standout successes - from PepsiCo’s Trop50 juice drinks to ThinkThin protein bars - growth in the overall weight management market is pretty sluggish, according to new research.
In its new report, Weight Management Trends in the US , market researcher Packaged Facts says data from SymphonyIRI for the food, drug and mass merchandiser channel excluding Walmart (FDMx), reveals that some of the biggest brands in weight management had a pretty lousy year in 2012.
Fiber One bar sales were down 8.3% in the FDMx channel in the 52 weeks to December 2, 2012 versus the same period in 2011; while sales of Quaker Chewy 90 calorie bars slumped 10.7%; sales of SlimFast bars dropped 25.8%; and sales of Kashi GoLean bars dropped 20.7%.
Meanwhile, sales of SlimFast meal replacements slumped 5.4%, Diet Coke dipped 2.1%, Diet Pepsi dropped 6%, Special K cereal dropped 4.6%, Lean Pockets frozen hand-held entrees dropped 5.9%, and ‘light’ yogurts from Dannon and Yoplait both posted declining sales.
On a more positive note, sales of Trop50 reduced calorie juices rose 19.7%; sales of Diet Snapple ready-to-drink teas were up 10.7%; sales of Thinkthin protein bars surged 50.2%; Atkins Nutritional bars rose 21.3% and Designer Whey’s ‘Biggest loser’ protein powders rose 21%.
Between 2008 and 2012, retail sales of weight management foods and beverages increased a bare 4%
Packaged Facts estimates that US retail sales of weight management foods and beverages through all retail channels reached $29.4bn in 2012, up 2.9% on 2011.
But over the past five years, it says, “weight management foods and beverages have been on a declining trend”, despite that fact that almost 70% of adults overweight or obese, and 28.9% say they are trying to lose weight, perhaps reflecting research from Euromonitor and Datamonitor showing that consumers are losing interest in 'diet' foods and just trying to eat more healthily.
“Overall, between 2008 and 2012, retail sales of weight management foods and beverages increased a bare 4%—or $1.1bn —resulting in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just 0.1%.”
Atkins Nutritionals sees sales surge 21.7% in 2012
The largest category within the meal replacement/diet aids market is meal replacement bars, with sales of $705m in FDMx channels in 2012 (+5.7% over the previous year).
The second-largest category, weight control candy/tablets, dropped 7.3% to $204m.
Finally, liquid/powder meal replacements came in third, at $189m (+ 4.6%).
Kellogg is the leading marketer of meal replacements for weight management, generating sales of almost $309m in 2012 in the FDMx channel via its Special K and Kashi GoLean brands, up 3.8% vs 2011.
In second place is Atkins Nutritionals, which rang up $254m in sales through the FDMx channel, a 21.7% gain over the previous year.
Click here to find out more about the report.