Developing Ozempic-era foods, beverages: Mattson shares research on what GLP-1 users crave

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: Getty Images - CR
Image Credit: Getty Images - CR

Related tags Ozempic Obesity Wegovy Portion control

CPG companies offering nutrient-dense, portion-controlled food and beverages could tap into emerging needs of consumers on weight-loss drugs, like Ozempic and WeGovy, consulting firm Mattson shared in a recent webinar.

GLP-1 drugs — which suppress hormones associated with hunger — have been a hotly debated solution to the obesity epidemic​ in the US among health professionals. Given the drugs’ effectiveness in promoting weight loss, Morgan Stanley forecasts​ that 24m Americans — or 7% of the population — will be on GLP-1 drugs by 2035. 

In a recent survey, Mattson interviewed more than 100 consumers who were or are on anti-obesity medicine (AOM), like GLP-1 drugs Ozempic and WeGovy, about their experience with the drugs and if they noticed any eating habit changes.  

Most surveyed consumers (69%) had a positive experience on AOM, while 28.2% had a mixed and 2.8% had a negative response to the drugs. Many consumers experienced decreased food noises — thoughts of eating and food — with 24% of respondents saying they spend much less time thinking about food and 37% a little less of the time. 

AOM drugs correlated with healthier eating, drinking

Typically, consumers on AOM ate less processed foods, including sugary drinks and salty snack foods, dairy products, coffee, energy drinks and spices, and ate more high-protein foods, eggs, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. 

Most consumers on AOM drugs (61%) said they ate fewer meals, and 51% ate fewer snacks. Similarly, 93% of respondents said portion sizes decreased while on the drug, while 7% reported no change in portion sizes. 

Mattson shared several GLP-1 compliment concepts during a recent webinar.
Mattson shared several GLP-1 compliment concepts during a recent webinar.

Additionally, 59% of AOM users had more interest in drinking tap and still water, and 66% of respondents were less interested in soda and alcoholic beverages.

These healthier eating and drinking behaviors paralleled advice AOM users received from their doctor on how to manage the drug’s side effects, including gastrointestinal issues and muscle loss, Jennifer Pagano, insight manager at Mattson, noted during the webinar.    

"Common advice that [consumers received] was increase your protein because you are going to be eating [fewer] nutrients — and you are going to need more key nutrients when you are eating smaller amounts of food — reduce carbs, drink a lot of water and then reduce portions and meal frequency." 

From hydrating popsicles to quick chicken: What products resonate with AOM users 

To gain the most benefit from GLP-1 drugs, "AOM users have a wish list" of foods and beverages claims, which can be used as inspiration for CPG brands developing products, Katie Hagan, executive VP of insights and innovation for Mattson, shared during the webinar. 

Portion control​ and smaller portion sizes is a really big need. ... The need to hydrate is also really important and hydrating in a low sugar, [and] non-carbonated way as well. Then in addition, increasing their protein intake not only for maintaining muscle mass, which is really important as you are losing large quantities of weight ... but we also learned from our research that consumers found that increasing their protein consumption helped with nausea," Hagan said.  

Mattson used the report insight and AI tools to visualize what a series of 22 AOM-orientated concepts would look like, she added. These concepts focused on need states and occasions for AOM users and include: 

  • Grilled Quick Chick Strips​: An on-the-go pre-portion chicken snack that is fully cooked and designed to be eaten as is or on a salad.
  • Greek Yogurt Sneaks​: This concept is a smaller protein-rich version of the yogurt pouch beverages, which include classic fruit flavors like Strawberry Sensation, Mango Magic, and Blueberry Bliss. 
  • Mindful Cups​: A line of globally inspired mini meals or snacks in a cup — including Savory Thai Coconut Curry, Mexican Chicken Fiesta, and Mediterranean Veggie, — that are ready to eat in three minutes after adding hot water.
  • HydroPops​: HydroPops are low-sugar frozen fruit popsicles with Tropical, Berry and Green varieties, tapping into the demand for healthier hydration. 

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