Dr. A. Elizabeth Sloan &
Dr. Catherine Adams Hutt
Sloan Trends, Inc.
Dr. A. Elizabeth Sloan and Dr. Catherine Adams
Hutt are president and chief scientific and regulatory officer, respectively, of Sloan Trends, Inc.,
Escondido, CA, a 20-year-old consulting firm
that offers trend interpretation/predictions; iden-tifies emerging high potential opportunities; and
provides strategic counsel on issues and regulatory claims guidance for food/beverage, supplement and pharmaceutical marketers. For more
information: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Weight loss was among the top 10 fast-
est growing non-food U.S. consumer
product categories in 2015, according to
IRI. Nutrition Business Journal projected
sales of weight-loss meal replacements
will top $4.1 billion in 2016 and $4.6 billion by 2018; meanwhile, the stagnant
$2.1 billion weight loss pill market will
grow 4.5% in 2017 and 3.2% in 2018.
Slim-Fast’s fall 2015 rollout of its 15-item
Advanced Nutrition line helped it secure
a spot among IRI’s Top 10 “Breakthrough
Healthcare Brands”for 2015, which requires
a 300% increase in past year sales to qualify.
Sales of high protein drinks reached $2.5
billion in 2015, per IRI. For the year ended
May 15, 2016, sales of Atkins weight control
meal replacements jumped 22.5%, Premier
Protein drink sales 95%.
Marketdata Enterprises estimated the
home delivery diet food market at $910
million in 2015 and reported that sales of
medically supervised diet plans reached
$7.8 billion last year.
Nielsen reported that weight monitoring is the top category for use of personal
devices/technology for consumer health
management; 17% used a diet support
app, according to Mintel.
Euromonitor predicted the global slimming and weight loss meal replacement
markets will enjoy a 4.9% annual global
growth rate from 2015-2020 and be the fifth-fastest-growing healthcare category globally.
With more than half (55%) of U.S. adults
trying to lose weight, up from 52% in 2015,
and 25% trying to maintain weight, a better
understanding of contemporary weight loss
needs/behaviors is essential to maximize the
full potential of the weight opportunity.
According to Sloan Trend’s TrendSense
model, although not shown here, weight
loss, obesity, kid’s weight control and
weight control for women and men remain
among the largest and strongest nutraceutical Mega markets. In 2017, weight loss in
general and weight control efforts for men
are projected to rise; weight control/chil-dren will continue a slow but steady decline.
Protein/weight loss, which is now fast
approaching a Level 3 mass market will
continue to accelerate in 2017 likely due to
growing marketability of the type of pro-
tein, timing issues and other weight loss
benefits associated with protein.
Two-thirds of U.S. adults believe that
protein aids weight loss. Additionally, 87%
believe it builds muscle; 73% helps you feel
full; 68% increases lean body mass; and
33% boosts metabolism (IFIC’s 2015 Food
& Health Survey). According to Mintel,
18% were on a high protein diet in 2015.
Reducing body fat/body composition,
which now ranks second to appearance
as the top weight loss goal, per the Natural Marketing Institute, remains a strong
Level 2 mass market. In descending order, health reasons, longevity, increasing
metabolism, and managing cholesterol,
blood pressure, and diabetes round out
the top dieting motivations.
As signaled by the new Go Low and
other glycemic/insulin resistance-based
diets, blood sugar control/weight loss is
also now a strong and fast accelerating
Level 2 mass market.
While satiety/weight control is approaching mass market status, it appears to be
hampered by two issues. First, it is only in the
top 10 product attributes for those who need
to lose more than 25 pounds, per Packaged
Facts. Secondly, there is an innate fear that
something undesirable has been done to
alter the integrity of the food’s composition.
Garcinia cambogia supplements, with
sales of $66 million in 2015, are still well positioned for marketing in the health food/
specialty channel despite a drop of 12.5%
due to Dr. Oz and herbal controversies.
Getting Ahead of the Curve:
The death of the weight loss business has been greatly exaggerated.
By Dr. A. Elizabeth Sloan & Dr. Catherine Adams Hutt