In the United States, the weight loss market size is part of many lives on a daily basis. Up to 60% of Americans are overweight to some extent and many of them are looking at dieting as a way to shed the extra pounds. The global market in 2014 was worth $586 billion with food and beverages included, while the US market without accounting for food and beverages accounted for $60.5 billion of that total. Through 2015 and beyond, the anticipated level of growth in the US market is expected to be just 1.2%.
This comes after 2014 numbers reflect a 1.8% decline in overall revenues. The contributing factor to the market slump? Fewer diet soft drink sales as more than 60% of Americans say that they are actively attempting to avoid soda whenever possible.
Other Factors Also Contribute to US Reductions
There is also a lot of uncertainty that is in the American weight loss market right now. The American Medical Association officially classified obesity as a disease, which means healthcare insurance may available for weight loss products. The total effects of the Affordable Care Act are yet to be known in this area for many people, which means there is a stall in the market as people who would normally purchase weight loss items are waiting to see if their mandatory healthcare insurance covers costs.
A second contributing factor to the weight loss market in the United States is that there has been a DIY movement afoot that encourages people to get fit on their own. It’s the same attitude that has been applied to the business world in the US – pull yourself up by your bootstraps, be the change you want to see, and then don’t give up.
Many restaurants and grocery stores are stocking up on organic foods and reducing pre-packaged foods as shelf and menu offerings, which is also naturally reducing waist lines and keeping Americans away from weight loss products. Even so, with more than $215 billion spent on food and beverages by Americans that could be classified as weight loss products, North America accounts for over 40% of the total weight moss market share.
Is Extra Weight an Extra Source of Cash?
Some holiday indulgences can have people feeling a little heavier than they would like as Spring turns into Summer. Some medications have a side effect that causes weight gain. There is a direct connection to lower incomes and fewer healthy foods, which makes weight gain a very real possibility. These all lead people to seek out a quick fix to their weight management needs and that often leads to supplements and pills.
The only problem is that in the US, there has been a concerted effort to inform people that supplements and pills are not a magic solution for too much weight. A recent study commissioned by the Federal Trade Commission also found that Americans are exposed to weight loss advertising that is only 85% accurate. In 2014, more than $34 million in fines were handed out to members of the weight loss market for deceptive claims.
There has also been in-fighting within the industry as proven weight loss plans go after each other to enhance their market share. Jenny Craig released advertising that stated their clients lost more than twice the weight of clients in the largest weight loss program in the US – which happens to be Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers sued over the advertisement because there was no evidence to support the claim and the two agencies settled out of court.
Who Can People Trust In the Weight Loss Industry?
Although it’s expected to clear $600 billion by 2016 at the latest, the biggest factor facing the worldwide weight loss market size is trust. People just don’t know what companies they can trust and many don’t have the finances to use an all-encompassing program like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. This is why the DIY method has become so popular and could cut into the overall market size here over the next 5 years.
There’s also the issue that many of the dietary foods that are promoted have been found to encourage weight gain. When food is labeled as being low-fat, for example, people will eat up to 50% more food at a single serving. Many also estimate calorie contents without looking at them and assume low-fat foods contain fewer calories.
If the trust issues can be sorted out, then the weight loss market size will likely continue to see steady growth around the world, especially if there are success stories that can be promoted. The industry requires people to be overweight in order to continue making profits, however, which ultimately means the negative profits may limit how much growth can actually be experienced.