March 18, 2020
The traditional "diet season" lasts from the last week of December until Memorial Day. If dieters have not reached their goal weight by the Summer, they usually take a break and pick it up in the Fall, or quit altogether.
However, this year, with the coronavirus pandemic now in full swing, dieting activity will shift until later in the year. Right now, consumers are following the bad news daily, getting stressed out about the stock market's wild swings, and are thinking about how they will maintain their income and employment in the coming months as businesses shut down. Dieting is not top of mind.
Marketdata analysts think that, as more consumers stay home, avoid gyms and health clubs and group sports, binge watch TV and movies, and pursue more stress-related comfort food eating, they will gain weight in the short term. This will mean that they will have even more weight to lose when the pandemic passes. That's looking like possibly the summer time in the U.S. As a result, dieters probably will not return to weight loss centers and regimens until July-August, and later if the pandemic lasts longer than a few moths.
There will be a psychological shift in thinking too. Since consumers have been told to avoid groups, and people that may be infected, they will be wary of visiting a doctors office, hospital or clinic. That spells a challenge for medical weight loss programs. They will be more apt to use online weight loss services, coaching services over the phone and via Skype or Zoom, diet apps, and webinars. They will also use OTC retail diet aids (meal replacements) such as diet pills, shakes and bars. These products are easily obtained at local retailers and online, don't cost much, and don't require any personal meetings with an MD or diet coach.
So, plan for a later "diet season" this year, and try to adapt your program toward more online and virtual services, incorporating retail meal replacements.
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Contact Marketdata and 31-year independent industry analyst John LaRosa, at: 813-971-8080 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Reports, teleconference calls, custom research projects and more. See: https://www.marketdataenterprises.com/diet-market-our-specialty/
Our best-selling report: "The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market", Feb. 2019. Sold by chapters too.