by A. Elizabeth Sloan
New Ways to Achieve Weight Loss
he battle of the bulge continues. Nearly eight in 10 consumers (78%) are trying to lose or maintain weight,according to the 2009 Food & Health Survey from the International Food information council (iFic). two-thirds (67%) of food shoppers in the 2008 Shopping for Health survey from the Food Marketing institute(FMi) reported that their food purchase decisions were influenced by weight. Clearly, foods and beverages positioned to promote weight loss represent an important market target for product developers.But the ways in which consumers approach weight loss appears to be changing. Only one in 10 (9%) of those who are trying to lose weight are on a specific diet plan/ regimen, reports iFic. dietary“stimulants” and complete nutritional weight loss supplements—with sales down 12%—are giving way to appetite suppressants, with sales up 7% for the year ending (YE) 12/27/08, nielsen co.’s Strategic Plannerreports. Changing the amount and the types of foods eaten are the most popular weight-loss strategies, according to iFic. Consumers also are opting for “better-for-you” foods vs diets. According toNielsen Co. data, sales of products carrying lowfat claims jumped 9% to $48 billion and sales of reducedcalorie foods were up 9% to $12 billion for YE 12/27/08.
The current motivation to lose weightis closely associated with reducing body fat, which is creating a new mainstream market for sports nutrition–derived products that aid in muscle toning, body sculpting, and composition. With agingbaby boomers the most likely to be trying to lose weight, and 75% of consumers citing “body shape” as a major concern of aging, according to Experian/simmons Market Research, an anti-aging anglecontrol represent another new direction in the war on weight. iFic’s report found that 70% of consumers strongly/ somewhat believe that foods can provide satiety; 35% are already eating foods for this...