Consumers Increasingly Seeking Weight Management Products beyond Health Benefits

While many weight loss products focus on the health benefits, consumers are more often looking for those products for appearance reasons first.

Heather Granato, VP, Partnerships & Sustainability

April 12, 2016

1 Min Read
Consumers Increasingly Seeking Weight Management Products beyond Health Benefits

With 12 percent of American adults actively engaged in using weight management products, they’re increasingly turning to specialized foods and drinks—including low-calorie foods, bars and pre-packaged meals—to do so, instead of supplements. This was just one of the findings from the inaugural Mind of the Consumer study, being presented at Ingredient Marketplace in late April. Developed in partnership with the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), we sought to explore and understand consumer expectations and perceptions related to top health issues. The team also examined ingredient suppliers and their perceptions in regards to consumer demand, allowing comparison between what suppliers are doing compared to consumer needs. Interestingly, while weight management has obvious health benefits, products focusing on weight loss for appearance aren’t as common—despite the fact that consumers say that’s the main driver for using these products. And often, they’re just going back to basics, reducing calories and sugar and focusing on more natural foods and beverages versus pre-packaged options. That said, smoothies are growing in popularity, with 34 percent of weight managers using those products, and 70 percent of those consumers using more than they did last year.

The Mind of the Consumer findings are not just focused around weight management, but also delve into sports nutrition, digestive health, protein, omega-3s and probiotics. These insights will showcase areas of opportunity for marketers, manufacturers and suppliers to develop and launch new products successfully.

Interested in learning more? Join us on Friday, April 29, at Ingredient Marketplace for the inaugural presentation of the Mind of the Consumer research findings. NMI’s Steve French and I look forward to sharing insights across the focus areas and looking at where the areas of opportunity lie.

About the Author(s)

Heather Granato

VP, Partnerships & Sustainability, Informa Markets, Food EMEA division

Heather Granato is a 30-year veteran of the natural products industry, currently serving as vice president, partnerships & sustainability, in the Food EMEA division of Informa Markets. She is based in London, and leads efforts related to industry partnerships and broader sustainability initiatives for the Vitafoods and Food ingredients brands. She has been a presenter at events including SupplySide, Vitafoods, Food ingredients, Natural Products Expo, the Natural Gourmet Show and the Folio: Show. Her publishing experience includes Natural Products Insider, Food Product Design, Vitafoods Insights, Country Living's Healthy Living, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Delicious Magazine and Granato serves as the founding president of Women In Nutraceuticals, a global non-profit founded in 2022 focused on empowering women in the nutraceutical industry; she is also on the board of directors for the Organic & Natural Health Association. From 2016 to 2022, she was a vice president on the national governing board of Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. Granato was named to the FOLIO: 100 list of top media professionals in 2018, and was selected as a 2015 Top Woman in Media by FOLIO:. She received the 2014 Visionary Award and the 2018 Journalistic Excellence Award from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA); and was honored with the CEO Merit Award for Content from Virgo in 2014. Granato graduated magna cum laude from the University of Richmond, Virginia, in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

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