LAS VEGAS — Words like “zero” and “low” generally are associated with weight management products. Matthew Oster, head of consumer health research for Euromonitor International, offers another word: “plus,” as in weight management-plus.
“Weight management as a subcomponent of living healthy, as a subcomponent of nutrition, as a subcomponent of performance,” he said in a Nov. 7 presentation at SupplySide West in Las Vegas.
Weight management product manufacturers need to find other ways to promote their products, such as plant-based, clean label and convenient, he said. Social media efforts could improve, too.
“Typically, weight management products are behind the curve (in social media),” he said.
Weight management products have experienced a 1% compound annual growth rate globally since 2014, which compares to sports nutrition products at 10%, according to Euromonitor International. Some brand names in the weight management category have experienced success, however, and those tend to be ones promoted for benefits like plant-based and convenience.
Soylent, which has expanded distribution into 7-Eleven and Walmart, has achieved 66% CAGR since 2013, Mr. Oster said. Premier Protein is at 59% CAGR, and Svelte is at 51% CAGR.
As promotions have expanded in scope for sports nutrition products, sales have grown, in some cases at the expense of weight management products. Sports nutrition bars are featuring plant-based protein from pea, hemp and soy, Mr. Oster said. Transparency and clean label are other promotions.
The way bars are marketed is causing products specifically designed for weight loss to suffer, Mr. Oster said. He gave thinkThin, Kind and Lärabar as examples.
“They are not formulated for meal replacement, but (people) are taking them to replace a meal or a supplement,” he said.
Promotions for Lärabar include the line “Bye-bye, muffin top.”
“It’s not telling you you’re going to lose weight, but that’s the implication,” Mr. Oster said.