Weight management segment to grow by 8 per cent: Leatherhead

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Weight management, Cereal, Management

The international weight management market was worth a whopping US$ 7.3 billion last year, and is expected to grow by up to 8 per cent for the next five years, according to Leatherhead.

The new report – The Future of the Weight Management Market​ – shows that consumers demand products that are convenient and products that deliver an almost immediate effect.

The main areas of growth have come from innovations in the bakery and cereal (including bars) segments, closely followed by beverages. Indeed, the report shows that both segments currently account for 33.5 and 28.4 per cent of the market, respectively.

“Beverages and cereals (the latter of which includes cereal bars) remain the most prolific sectors for weight management claims across the globe,”​ said Leatherhead. “This is largely due to the functionality of the products (i.e. their ability to ‘carry’ other ingredients well), as well as the fact that they are generally perceived by consumers as both convenient and healthy.”

The new report notes that the industry is experiencing a shift from the “better for you”-type products towards products that provide consumers with “differentiation and added value”​.

The slimming ingredients market can be divided into five groups based on the mechanisms of action – boosting fat burning/ thermogenesis, inhibiting protein breakdown, suppressing appetite/boosting satiety (feeling of fullness), blocking fat absorption, and regulating mood (linked to food consumption).

At the recent SupplySide West Expo in Las Vegas, Tom Vierhile from Datamonitor told attendees that the big growth area for supplements regarding claims is for calorie or fat burning. In 2007, calorie/fat burning was experiencing 1 percent growth, while in 2010 this had increased to 3 per cent, he said.

However, such growth is not without its questioning. “According to Datamonitor research, this kind of claim has the highest degree of skepticism amongst consumers,”​ he said.

Back to Leatherhead, and the report notes two key challenges facing the segment: First of all, consumers must be provided with a clear benefit and message; and secondly, the products must match the taste and texture demands of the mass market.

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