• Emerging Phase = Potential trends begin to appear on the radar screen. Companies
should begin to investigate those that exhibit
continual growth, if they are a good strategic fit.
• Popularization Phase = Indicates when
a trend, market or ingredient has become a
marketable opportunity in specialty/health
food channels and/or among condition-specific and very health conscious shoppers. The
higher into the phase the trend line goes, the
bigger the specialty opportunity.
• Commercialization Phase = Indicates
when a trend, market or ingredient is a marketable mass market opportunity. The higher
the trend line goes into the Commercialization
Phase — Level 1, 2, 3 or Mega — the larger
the opportunity. Optimal timing for competitive advantage is achieved when the trend
line first crosses into a particular phase.
• Medical Threshold is a statistical value,
which a trend must cross in terms of Medical
Counts to be a long-term sustainable trend, not
just a fad. Medical/Nutrition Counts are an indication of research activity/scientific support.
Copyright Sloan Trends, Inc. NOT TO BE COPIED, PUBLISHED, DIVULGED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION
FROM SLOAN TRENDS
• Weight loss is the second-largest
functional food opportunity, behind cholesterol lowering (Packaged Facts, 2015).
• Over the past five years, men drove
69% of the growth in the weight control
sector; those aged 18–34 accounted for
43% of the gains in the weight maintenance segment (Packaged Facts, 2015).
• One in five dieters wants to lose 20-49
pounds; 13% more than 50 pounds (Mintel).
• While women 18-34 have traditionally been the most likely to diet, Boomers
are now the most active weight loss cohort
• Age-specific weight loss is a fast-emerging area (e.g., 70% of those aged
75+ are overweight, leading to complications with mobility, falling, fraility, etc.)
• Weight loss programs tailored to ethnic
groups represents a missed opportunity;
48% of Blacks are obese, 43% of Hispanics,
35% Whites and 12% Asian (CDC).
• 41% of U.S. adults bought sports nutrition products in hope of accelerating
weight loss in 2015 (NBJ). Lose/manage
weight is the #1 reason to exercise (IFIC).
• 7% of adults are on the Flat Belly Diet;
6% each on Paleo or a fasting/detox plan;
5% each on Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers,
or a vegetarian diet; 4% the Mediterranean
diet; 3% the Zone diet or a packaged food
diet; 2% the DASH diet; and 2% a vegan
diet. Glycemic control/insulin resistance-
based diets are the latest wave (e.g., Go-Lo).
• 1.4 billion people globally are obese.
In China, more than half of men and 46%
of women aged 30+ are overweight.
In the U.S., weight loss remains the top reason for making dietary changes, per IFIC.
The most popular dieting activity is still“just
watching calories,” according to FMI.
About 41% of consumers are trying to
avoid low-calorie sweeteners; 55% of frozen food purchases are influenced by clean
label, free from, and nutrient concerns, per
Deloitte’s 2015 Evolving Values report. Not
surprisingly, 77% surveyed by Mintel think
that traditional diet products are unhealthy.
As a result, many weight loss marketers
have shifted to simply offering healthier
foods. While the demands of those trying to eat healthier align well with those
trying to manage their weight, priorities
differ for the larger group—those trying
to lose weight. Not recognizing these differences will likely cause food markets to
lose motivated weight loss consumers.
Half of those trying to lose weight monitor
their calorie intake, per FMI. Carb reduction
diets (e.g., Atkins or South Beach) rank sec-
ond, used by 22% of consumers, followed by
reducing fat (20%), no sugar diet (11%) and
high protein or body building diets (9%).
Prominently displaying lower calorie
counts, offering calorie-driven portion
packs, and categorizing fresh foods by calo-
rie content (e.g., Subway sandwiches with
fewer than 400 calories) are smart strategies.
In May 2016, NutriSystem successfully
tested a single-day kit of frozen meals
that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and
snacks for $12 at 400 Walmart stores; a
shelf-stable, 5-day kit is now available.
Supplement marketers need to better
capitalize on the complexity of weight
loss motivations/behaviors by delivering
multi-functional products—for example,
aiding weight loss but also helping lower
cholesterol. Overweight adults also have a
high incidence of insomnia.
While 37% of adults want supplements
that will help manage weight, 39% would
like products to provide healthier muscle/
tone, 37% boost metabolism, 37% boost
immunity, and 35% to maintain bone, joint
and muscle function, which is often seriously compromised by being overweight/
obese, according to HealthFocus (2015). NW