Blog - 02.09.2021
The slimming market is putting weight back on
The slimming market has been experiencing a severe slump since the noughties. Tarnished by the false promises of miracle products that achieve nothing, the image of this segment of the nutraceuticals market is poorly perceived by consumers. In this article, discover new levers for growth and innovation.
The slimming market has been experiencing a major slump since the noughties. Indeed, the inflated promises made by popular products back then often disappointed consumers, because their effectiveness was unfounded.
Sold as miracle pills that got rid of a few pounds or burnt several inches off the waistline, slimming products were a lot of people’s dream solution but, in the end, delivered only the flimsiest of results. This disappointment tarnished the image of the slimming segment in the eyes of consumers, and its market suffered as a result. It shrunk by 5.2% in November 2019 compared to 2018.
Consumers have shifted away from the idea of a miracle product and turned to healthier lifestyles based on a lower-calorie, more balanced diet combined with exercise.
These days, the consumption of slimming products is no longer the keystone of a weight-loss strategy. Rather, they are a complement (rightly so) to a programme that primarily involves a healthy, low-calorie diet combined with regular physical activity.
However, the slimming market now seems to be reinventing itself. New trends are emerging, driven by emerging demands of consumers who are as concerned with product efficiency as they are with preserving the environment.
Several types of nutraceuticals are available on the market. Between appetite suppressants, detoxifiers and fat burners, laboratories are constantly innovating as regards ingredients, formulations and indications.
The ingredients currently found in the slimming nutraceuticals market are numerous and diverse.
Laboratories have classic ingredients at their disposal: artichoke, green tea and lemon known for their detoxifying, fat burning and draining properties, but also more unusual active ingredients such as maté, which stimulates the nervous system to fight obesity, and ovalbumin, a precursor to serotonin, the hormone that acts on urges to eat.
One of the most popular diets today is the ketogenic diet, based on a drastic reduction in carbohydrate consumption with the adult daily intake not exceeding 50 g. Conversely, intake of fats is increased from the usually recommended 35% up to 70-90%. As for protein intake, it remains the same as the level recommended by nutritionists, i.e. 15 to 20% of total energy intake.
Ketogenic diet brands innovate substantially through the formulation of low-carb slimming products.
We have also seen in recent years that consumers are increasingly turning to more plant-based diets comprising fruit, vegetables and plant-based proteins, and are increasingly turning their backs on meat-rich diets. As a result of this approach, flexitarianism, vegetarianism and even veganism are impacting the slimming market. 100% plant-based, vegan and superfruit-based formulas rich in antioxidants are all the rage.
Slimming products nevertheless continue to be consumed, although in lower quantities and at the same time with more extensive product ranges appearing. Indeed, demanding consumers now have stricter purchasing criteria. One of them is product naturalness.
It is a fact that slimming-oriented nutraceuticals often use natural ingredients as active ingredients. Consumers who follow a wellness approach prefer these active ingredients and likewise their excipients to be of natural origin, as is the case with most of the products they consume.
Consumers, in addition to switching to natural products, are also aware that they can act to protect the environment by favouring sustainable products.
More and more people are turning their backs on ultra-processed products, not only to prevent the negative impacts these have on their health, but also to protect the planet. These products require several industrial stages and therefore consume large amounts of water and energy, generating a large carbon footprint and resulting in a harmful impact on the environment.
Conversely, unprocessed products consume less energy, especially if they are distributed via short circuits, and this eliminates the fuel and electricity consumption required for long circuits.
Finally, products of animal origin are being abandoned in favour of plant-based products. Cruelty-free approaches and animal welfare, increasingly important causes in the eyes of consumers, lead them to opt for fruit and vegetables they can buy from local producers in order to avoid what they now consider an aberration: long circuits, animal abuse and the 50 litres of water consumed to produce 1 kilogram of meat.
Furthermore, ingredient suppliers on the nutraceutical market are major players in ecology and have a significant impact on the environment. By acting positively in this regard they will not only improve the current state of our planet, but also regain the trust and respect of their customers. For example, ingredient suppliers may opt for short supply chains, provide ingredients that are less processed, or affix a clean label to their products proving their less harmful effect on the planet.
After countless disappointments in the past due to products making great promises, the effectiveness of which was never proven given their failure to produce any significant results, consumers have become very suspicious of slimming products.
This is why they are now turning to products that have been proven effective by robust scientific studies on the active ingredients used and their effects on weight loss. It is therefore in the interest of dietary and nutraceutical brands to use patented active ingredients endorsed by studies.
JLB DEVELOPPEMENT, an expert in slimming nutraceuticals and their requirements, advises operators in this market to innovate using new levers not through star products, miracle ingredients or extraordinary formulas, but rather by exploring the axes of science, sustainability and naturalness.