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Diet Trends - US - November 2014

“Due to rising levels of obesity, the diet market is poised for growth. However, a great deal of skepticism toward products is hindering growth.”
– Emily Krol, Health and Wellness Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Consumers moving toward healthy eating, away from dieting
  • Impact of technology helps people to be more proactive about their diet
  • Obesity continuing to increase in the US

The term “diet” has evolved over the years to mean different things to different people. This report identifies the behavior and attitudes American consumers have toward dieting, focusing on diet practice differences by age and gender. It also analyzes trends and innovations in diet foods and programs, and seeks to uncover the types of diets that resonate with consumers, as well as opportunities for marketers in the diet landscape. Knowing who to appropriately market diet products to can help players in this space selectively merchandise and reach their target consumers.

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Diet Trends – US, November 2012.

For the purposes of this report, “diet” is defined as an eating or drinking regimen with the goal of losing weight. Mintel defines dieters as respondents who are trying to lose/maintain weight by dieting.

This report covers diet products that are used primarily for weight control (weight loss and weight management). MULO sales data for the following weight control products is included:

  • Select frozen meal brands (Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones)
  • Weight control tablets
  • Weight control powder/liquids

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Overview
                      • Dieting not as prevalent as obesity
                        • Figure 1: Diet status, August 2014
                      • Factors affecting the diet market
                        • Dieters opt for exercise, cutting calories over traditional diets
                          • Figure 2: Types of diets used, August 2014
                        • Dieters use multiple methods
                          • Boosting overall health top reason to diet
                            • Figure 3: Reasons for dieting, August 2014
                          • Diet brand advertising should reflect struggle to lose weight
                            • Figure 4: Diet Advertisement believability, August 2014
                          • Skepticism and temptations abound among dieters
                            • Figure 5: Attitudes toward dieting, August 2014
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Consumers moving toward healthy eating, away from dieting
                                • The issues
                                  • The implications
                                    • Impact of technology helps people to be more proactive about their diet
                                      • The issues
                                        • The implications
                                          • Obesity continues to increase in the US
                                            • The issues
                                              • The implications
                                              • Trend Applications

                                                  • Trend: Prove It
                                                    • Trend: The Real Thing
                                                      • Trend: Guiding Choice
                                                      • Diet Status

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Women more likely than men to diet
                                                            • Figure 6: Diet status, by gender, August 2014
                                                          • Aging population will affect diet market
                                                            • Figure 7: Diet status, by age, August 2014
                                                            • Figure 8: Population, by age, 2014-19
                                                          • Black respondents less likely to be dieting
                                                            • Figure 9: Diet status, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014
                                                            • Figure 10: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2009-19
                                                        • Factors Affecting the Diet Market

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Obesity rates continue to increase
                                                              • Figure 11: Percent of people aged 20 or older who are healthy weight, overweight, or obese, 2001-12
                                                            • Government/community initiatives aim to reduce obesity
                                                              • Programs
                                                                • Healthier food options
                                                                  • Healthy eating habits and exercise overtaking diet programs
                                                                      • Figure 12: Attitudes toward diet and food, January 2013-March 2014
                                                                      • Figure 13: Diet products/methods, February 2007-March 2014
                                                                      • Figure 14: Participated in a regular exercise program, by demographics, January 2013-March 2014
                                                                    • Impact of prescription diet pills minimal
                                                                    • Leading Companies and Brands

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Ensure leading sales of weight control drinks
                                                                          • Figure 15: MULO sales of weight control powder/liquids, by select companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                          • Figure 16: MULO sales of weight control powder/liquids, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                          • Figure 17: Brands of liquid/powdered nutritional supplements or liquid breakfasts used, February 2007-March 2014
                                                                        • Sales of “diet” frozen meals decline
                                                                          • Figure 18: Attitudes toward frozen meals, February 2007-March 2014
                                                                          • Figure 19: Lean Cuisine, “Diet reality check,” January 2014
                                                                          • Figure 20: Weight Watchers Smart Ones, “America Gets a Clean Slate,” March 2014
                                                                          • Figure 21: MULO sales of select diet single-serve frozen meals, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                        • Alli recall pushes weight control tablet sales down
                                                                            • Figure 22: MULO sales of weight control tablets, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                                            • Jenny Craig
                                                                              • Figure 23: Jenny Craig, video, 2014
                                                                            • Medifast
                                                                              • Nutrisystem
                                                                                • Figure 24: Nutrisystem, video ad, 2014
                                                                                • Figure 25: Behind the scenes with Nutrisystem success story, Jessica S., 2014
                                                                              • Slim-Fast
                                                                                • Figure 26: Slim-Fast, “Welcome to the Slim-Fast 14-day Slimdown,” 2014
                                                                              • Special K
                                                                                • Figure 27: Special K, “Size Sassy,” 2014
                                                                              • Weight Watchers
                                                                              • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                • New product launches help with weight loss
                                                                                  • Figure 28: Share of weight loss product launches, by top subcategories, 2008-14
                                                                                • Bars/meal replacements
                                                                                  • Prepared meals
                                                                                    • Supplements
                                                                                      • Skinny is the new black
                                                                                      • Types of Diets

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Dieters use a variety of methods
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Types of diets used or interested in trying, August 2014
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Types of diets used/would use again, by number of diets used, August 2014
                                                                                          • Low fat still top food product sought
                                                                                            • Figure 31: Diet food product claims, February 2007-March 2014
                                                                                          • Technology impacting diet trends
                                                                                            • Figure 32: Types of diets (technology) used and would use again, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Types of diets (technology) not used but interested in trying, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                          • Meal replacements sought by “quick fix” dieters
                                                                                            • Pop culture impacts interest in diet methods
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Types of diets used and would use again, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                            • Group competitions generate interest
                                                                                              • Figure 35: Types of diets not used but interested in trying, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                          • Reasons for Dieting

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Overall health most cited reason to diet
                                                                                                • Events motivate people to lose weight quickly
                                                                                                  • Improving appearance cited among female dieters
                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Reasons for dieting, by gender, August 2014
                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Attitudes toward ideal weight, by gender, August 2014
                                                                                                  • Health concerns motivate older dieters
                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Reasons for dieting, by age, August 2014
                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Reasons for dieting, by age, January 2013-March 2014
                                                                                                • Trustworthiness of Information Sources

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Dieters trust professional sources
                                                                                                      • Celebrity bias impacts source credibility
                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Most trustworthy sources for diet information, August 2014
                                                                                                        • Trust in information sources varies by age
                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Most trustworthy sources for diet information – Any rank, by age, August 2014
                                                                                                      • Diet Advertisement Believability

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Most dieters do not believe diet advertising strategies
                                                                                                            • Dieters believe ads that show the realistic struggles of dieting
                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Diet Advertisement believability, August 2014
                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward Dieting

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Skepticism abounds
                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Skepticism toward dieting, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                                              • Women struggle with challenges to dieting
                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Challenges with dieting, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                                            • Spotlight on BMI

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Overweight/obese more likely to diet
                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Diet status, by BMI, August 2014
                                                                                                                • Obese dieters less likely to have tried, but more likely to be interested
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Types of diets used, and would use again, by BMI, August 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Types of diets not used but interested in trying, by BMI, August 2014
                                                                                                                • Attitudes toward dieting
                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Diet temptations and challenges, by BMI, August 2014
                                                                                                              • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Hispanics have used a wider range of diets
                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Types of diets used, and would use again, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014
                                                                                                                  • Non-White dieters believe advertising
                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Diet advertisement believability, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                  • Brands of liquid/powdered nutritional supplements or liquid breakfasts
                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Brands of liquid/powdered nutritional supplements or liquid breakfasts used, among those who are currently watching their diet, and those who are overweight, January 2013-March 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Brands of liquid/powdered nutritional supplements or liquid breakfasts used, February 2007-March 2014
                                                                                                                  • Diet status
                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Diet status, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                                                  • Types of diets
                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Types of diets used, by reasons for dieting, August 2014 (part 1)
                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Types of diets used, by reasons for dieting, August 2014 (part 2)
                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Diet food products purchased, by age, January 2013-March 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Repertoire of types of diets used, by BMI, August 2014
                                                                                                                  • Reasons for dieting
                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Reasons for dieting, by BMI, August 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Reasons for dieting, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Reasons for dieting, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2014
                                                                                                                  • Diet advertisement believability
                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Diet advertisement believability, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Diet advertisement believability, by BMI, August 2014
                                                                                                                  • Trustworthiness of sources
                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Most trustworthy sources for diet information – Any rank, by BMI, August 2014
                                                                                                                  • Attitudes toward dieting
                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Attitudes toward dieting, by gender, August 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Attitudes toward dieting, by age, August 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Temptations with dieting, by gender and age, August 2014
                                                                                                                  • Attitudes toward healthful eating
                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Attitudes and opinions about diet, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2013-March 2014
                                                                                                                  • Diet attributes
                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Diet plan attributes, July 2012
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Other Market Data

                                                                                                                  • Population growth
                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: US population by gender, 2009-19
                                                                                                                  • Prevalence of obesity
                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Prevalence of obesity by race and Hispanic origin, among adults aged 20 and over, US 2011-12
                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Percent of people aged 20 or older who are healthy weight, overweight, or obese, by gender, 2009-12
                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Age and gender profile, by BMI groups, August 2014
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                  • Abbott Laboratories
                                                                                                                  • Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
                                                                                                                  • Carlyle Group (The)
                                                                                                                  • ConAgra Foods, Inc
                                                                                                                  • GlaxoSmithKline (USA)
                                                                                                                  • Unilever USA
                                                                                                                  • Weight Watchers International Inc.

                                                                                                                  Diet Trends - US - November 2014

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