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Meal Replacements Do Well During The Pandemic

March 7, 2021

Marketdata’s research to update its study: “The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market” continues. One of the key chapters in this upcoming report tracks the meal replacements (powdered shakes, nutrition bars) and appetite suppressants market (retail and MLM non-prescription diet pills).

Meal replacements have done well in 2020. Diet pills, not so much.

So far, it looks like producers have actually seen COVID-19 send a whole new raft of consumers to the category. They’ve witnessed huge spikes in sales during the periods when stay-at-home orders have been in effect. There are a few reasons for this. One is consumers’ impulse to stock up before the next shoe drops; after all, because meal replacements have long shelf lives and need no refrigeration, they’re perfect candidates for the emergency food stash. In addition, DIY dieting efforts are popular—about 85% of dieting consumers do it without joining a structured program. These products are inexpensive and are easily obtained from local retailers, MLM distributors, mail order and via the Internet. You don’t have to go to a doctor’s office or a weight loss center.

It appears that the meal replacements market held up much better than weight loss pills/supplements last year. Meal replacements sales were up an estimated 10.4%, while diet pills sales declined by 6.9%.

The latest data from Chain Drug Review’s health & beauty aids report shows that sales of weight control liquids and powders (excluding brands such as Boost and Ensure that cater to the elderly but are not for weight loss) rose 10.4% to $1.12 billion in 2019, up from $1.02 billion in 2018.

Sales of meal replacements via MLM and Internet channels are significant and should remain popular this year and beyond. These channels are estimated to account for 69% of 2020 sales. Herbalife alone, one of the top multi-level marketing (MLM) firms, accounted for $821 million in 2020 weight loss product sales in North America, up a strong 29%. Slim-Fast was estimated to generate $280 million last year, and Atkins, $529 million.

Marketdata analysts estimate that the U.S. market for meal replacements was worth $3.00 billion in 2020 – up a strong 10.9% from 2019 levels.

Marketdata analysts estimate that the U.S. market for diet pills was worth $2.08 billion in 2020 – down about 6.9%.

For More Information About The Weight Loss Market:

See our upcoming new report: “The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market”, which contains an in-depth chapter on the meal replacements and appetite suppressants market, including detailed company profiles for: Herbalife, Atkins (Simply Good Foods), Slim-Fast, Isagenix, Visalus, Shaklee, Nu-Skin, AMWAY and many others. Contact Marketdata and John LaRosa for custom research projects, consulting, and teleconference calls. (813-971-8080). www.marketdataenterprises.com

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