That's what a new study by MarketResearch.com says will happen by 2015. The report is entitled: "Global Weight Loss & Diet Management Products & Services Market (2010-2015)" and covers foods, beverages, drugs, surgeries, services, fitness equipment and accessories.
The global weight loss and diet management products & services market was expected to be worth $390 billion in 2010 and is estimated to grow to $672 billion by 2015, growing at a compound annual rate of 11.5% over that period.
The device and accessories market accounts for the largest chunk, worth $143 billion in 2010. According to MR.com, weight management services (i.e. programs) is growing at a fast pace and is expected to reach a size of $216 billion by 2015, growing at a CAGR of 16.2%.
We don't know where all this enthusiasm is coming from but we certainly don't see commercial or medical programs growing anywhere near 16% per year. Surgeries have been flat for several years and the diet soft drinks market has been flat to slightly down. Health club revenues in "normal" years grow about 7% annually. Maybe we're missing something. Maybe MR.com is expecting some tidal wave of overseas growth in China and developing countries, a move away from the current frugal do-it-yourself dieting trend, or several blockbuster prescription obesity drugs to be approved and enter the market.
However, considering the state of consumer confidence and the weak global economy, we just don't see any justification for these wildly optimistic projections. An 11.5% CAGR for the industry is nearly DOUBLE the historical pace of the past 20 years (about 6%/year). Will the period 2010-2015 really be that good? We'd take this report's forecasts with a BIG grain of salt.