Food vendors are being asked more frequently whether there would be a substantial change in how much or how often individuals eat due to the growth in the prescription of semaglutide medications like Wegovy and Ozempic.
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The increasingly well-liked medications typically curb patients’ appetites. With 1.7% of Americans expected to be administered a semaglutide medicine in 2023, a 40-fold increase over the previous five years, the food business may face major difficulties.
For the time being, it appears that they are keeping a close eye on consumer behavior and considering methods to profit from trends when it comes to these medications, much like they do with food fads. However, according to some industry observers, they might need to treat the rise of this class of medications with more seriousness than fat diets.
Conagra CEO Sean Connolly stated that if consumers eat less or prefer different types of food, the company will modify as necessary during a call with Wall Street analysts on Thursday.
If they adopt smaller portions, Connolly said, “we evolve the innovations and design smaller portions.”
In response, he added, “If they switch to different types of nutrients, then we switch to different types of nutrients.” “We’ll change that if they change the types of snack pack sizes they consume.” Among the many food brands owned by Conagra are Healthy Choice, Duncan Hines, and Marie Callender’s.
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This strategy is not brand-new. Large food corporations are often changing their products to stay abreast of consumer preferences. In addition, businesses have already made changes to their products in an effort to appeal to consumers who are health-conscious, as wellness is a concern for many individuals, not just those on semaglutide medications.
Smaller versions of PepsiCo and Coca-Cola products are available for customers who need assistance with portion control or who wish to save money. For more appropriate branding, soda firms have gradually replaced the term “diet” with “zero sugar”. And big companies like Mondelez buy up smaller, trendier ones to help them keep up with swiftly shifting consumer tastes.
However, fashionable diets come and go. This might be unique.
According to Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard, medications like Ozempic “have the potential to have a bigger impact on food consumption… than, arguably, anything that we’ve seen before.” She said that although change would not come quickly, it might persist a long time.
According to internal data from the company, customers who use Ozempic purchase a little less food than the general population, according to Walmart US CEO John Furner. However, he cautioned that it was too soon to make any inferences from the anonymized customer data. In response to CNN’s request for comment, Walmart stated that the company had nothing further to say.
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Numerous factors could lessen the influence of medications like Ozempic on the food sector. For example, demand may exceed supply, or interest in these medications may wane. Or, individuals who use the medications might not alter their diets in a way that significantly affects food vendors.
Additionally, it can be advantageous to some sectors of the industry, such as companies that sell healthier meals.
Source: Cosmo Politian