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Dieting Trends - UK - November 2013

“Clear like-for-like comparisons between diet products and their non-diet alternatives should allow brands to show consumers that there are genuine and tangible differences in the calorie/fat/sugar content, and highlight where these owe to healthier recipes rather than simply smaller portions.”

– Emma Clifford, Senior Food Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Can diet brands use clearer comparisons to standard alternatives to win consumers’ trust?
  • Can natural sweeteners help brands to overcome concerns over the ingredients in diet food?
  • What impact is the new consistent nutrition labelling scheme for food and drink products likely to have on the diet food market?
  • How can diet food brands heighten their appeal among the younger and older generation?

Consumers have many weapons in their armoury when it comes to managing their weight, and they prefer to exercise more, reduce portion sizes and cut back on certain types of food (eg those with a high content of fat/sugar/carbs) than to eat more diet products. This owes to a number of negative perceptions which plague the market. These include concerns over the ingredients/sweeteners that go into diet products, distrust that diet brands provide nutritious food, doubts over significant differences in calories between these and the standard alternatives and the perception of small serving sizes.

As such there is a strong demand for greater transparency, and six in 10 adults would like to see clearer nutritional information that shows the differences between diet foods and their non-diet equivalents. This is something the government’s uniform front-of-pack labelling system could help to address.

Amid concerns about artificial ingredients, there is significant interest in seeing more products using natural sweeteners (eg stevia) to replace sugar, indicating opportunities for brands.

This report looks at consumers’ attitudes and behaviours related to dieting primarily for weight management, mainly with the use of weight control foods. Mintel's definition of weight control foods includes products designed specifically to help the consumer lose weight and food products that have a reduced fat, calorie or sugar content compared with standard products.

Reduced calorie foods are food products where calorie levels have been reduced, compared to the standard variant of the product, typically labelled as ‘light’ or ‘diet’.
Meal replacements are defined as any meal replacement products designed for weight control. This includes meal complements, designed to accompany slimming programmes acting as snack replacements or to accompany a meal.

Meal replacements for weight control are not intended as the sole source of nutrition. They are subject to compositional standards defined in European legislation and must contain the legislated balance of protein, fat, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals designed to meet the total nutritional needs of one meal.
Appetite controllers/suppressants are designed to suppress the natural appetite so that the dieter eats less than usual. They are available as tablets, capsules, lozenges and drinks. Some contain glucose and are claimed to work by raising the blood sugar level, temporarily reducing the appetite. Others contain bulk-forming agents, such as bran, sterculia or methylcellulose and are taken with a drink before food to give the stomach a feeling of fullness. They are not a substitute for food; they are intended to be used as part of a calorie-controlled diet.

Very low-calorie diets (VLCDs) are commercially prepared formulae of 800 calories or less that replace all usual food intake. They contain all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins needed to replace normal meals for up to four weeks at a time. They are usually in the form of powdered drinks, soups, pre-mixed drinks and meal bars. VLCDs are generally considered safe when used by dieters with a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25.

Liqueurs - UK - January 2012

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Excluded
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Figure 1: UK retail value sales for selected diet and weight control foods, 2008-18
                • Figure 2: UK retail value sales of selected diet and weight control foods, by sector, 2013 (est)
              • Market factors
                • The nation’s waistlines continue to expand
                  • Government action relies on voluntary schemes
                    • New uniform nutritional labels start to roll out
                      • Companies, brands and innovation
                        • An uptick in NPD activity in 2012 and 2013
                          • Figure 3: Total share of diet food products in all new food product launches, Jan 2009 - Sept 2013
                        • Adspend slows for diet and weight control foods
                          • Figure 4: Topline advertising expenditure by identified key players in the diet and weight control food market*, 2009-13
                        • The consumer
                          • Dieting is commonplace in the UK
                            • Figure 5: Attitudes towards weight loss, September 2013
                          • Exercise is the most popular route to managing weight
                            • Figure 6: Actions taken to manage weight, September 2013
                          • The five-a-day message has gained widespread acceptance
                            • Figure 7: Types of products considered to be healthy, September 2013
                          • Treats are seen as part of a balanced diet
                            • Figure 8: Attitudes towards dieting and healthy eating, September 2013
                          • Concerns over the healthiness of diet food
                            • Figure 9: Attitudes towards diet foods, September 2013
                          • What we think
                          • Issues in the Market

                              • Can diet brands use clearer comparisons to standard alternatives to win consumers’ trust?
                                • Can natural sweeteners help brands to overcome concerns over the ingredients in diet food?
                                  • What impact is the new consistent nutrition labelling scheme for food and drink products likely to have on the diet food market?
                                    • How can diet food brands heighten their appeal among the younger and older generation?
                                    • Trend Application

                                        • Trend: Man in the Mirror
                                          • Trend: Secret Secret
                                            • Mintel Futures: Access Anything, Anywhere
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Key points
                                                • Obesity levels have soared over the past five years but look to be stabilising
                                                  • Figure 10: Finished Admission Episodes with a primary diagnosis of obesity in England, by gender, 2000/01-2011/12
                                                • The responsibility deal update
                                                  • New uniform nutritional labels start to roll out
                                                    • Women tend to watch what they eat closely more so than men
                                                      • Figure 11: Habits related to health, November 2012
                                                    • Growth in key age groups could boost the market
                                                      • Figure 12: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2008-18
                                                    • Fad diets look to be returning to their former popularity
                                                      • Weight loss surgery declines in the UK
                                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                        • Strengths
                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Definition
                                                                • Diet food NPD sees revival
                                                                  • Figure 13: Total share of diet food products in all new food product launches, Jan 2009 - Sept 2013
                                                                  • Figure 14: Share of slimming, low/no/reduced calorie and low/no/reduced fat claims in all new food product launches, Jan 2009 - Sept 2013
                                                                • Ready meals see most active NPD
                                                                  • Figure 15: Share of new diet product launches in the UK food market, by sub-category, Jan 2009 - Sept 2013
                                                                • …followed by spoonable yogurt and soup
                                                                  • Own-label continues NPD growth into 2013
                                                                    • Figure 16: New diet product launches in the UK food market, own-label vs branded, Jan 2009 - Sept 2013
                                                                  • Weight Watchers and Morrisons account for nearly 20% of NPD
                                                                    • Figure 17: Share of top 15 brands in new diet product launches within the UK food market, Jan 2009 - Sept 2013
                                                                  • New packaging attracts growing activity
                                                                    • Figure 18: Launches in the diet food market, by launch type, Jan 2009- Sept 2013
                                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Sluggish value growth follows a dip in 2012
                                                                      • Figure 19: UK retail value sales for selected diet and weight control foods, 2008-18
                                                                    • The future of the market
                                                                      • Figure 20: UK retail value sales for selected diet and weight control foods, 2008-18
                                                                    • Factors used in the forecast
                                                                    • Segment Performance

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Biscuits account for a third of the market
                                                                          • Figure 21: UK retail value sales of selected diet and weight control foods, by sector, 2013 (est)
                                                                          • Figure 22: UK retail value sales of selected diet and weight control foods, by sector, 2008-13
                                                                        • Strong growth in low-fat yogurt in 2013
                                                                          • Sales continue to slump in the diet ready meals market
                                                                            • Stevia brands fail to boost the artificial sweeteners sector
                                                                              • The decline in slimming aids halts in 2013
                                                                                • Figure 23: Total retail value sales of slimming aids*, 2008-13
                                                                            • Companies and Products

                                                                                • Figure 24: Profiled companies and their brands within the dieting/healthy eating market
                                                                              • Weight Watchers
                                                                                • Company overview
                                                                                  • Diet plan
                                                                                    • Product range
                                                                                      • Innovation
                                                                                        • Advertising and promotion
                                                                                          • Slim-Fast
                                                                                            • Diet plan
                                                                                              • Product range
                                                                                                • Recent activity
                                                                                                  • Kellogg’s
                                                                                                    • Diet plan
                                                                                                      • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                        • Advertising and promotion
                                                                                                          • Adios
                                                                                                            • Diet plan
                                                                                                              • Product range
                                                                                                                • Natures Remedies
                                                                                                                  • Product range
                                                                                                                    • Tesco
                                                                                                                      • Sainsbury’s
                                                                                                                        • Asda
                                                                                                                          • Morrisons
                                                                                                                            • M&S
                                                                                                                            • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Adspend slows for diet and weight control foods
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Topline advertising expenditure by identified key players in the diet and weight control food market*, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                • Kellogg’s cuts adspend…
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Main monitored media advertising expenditure in the diet and weight control food market*, by leading advertiser in 2012, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: main monitored media advertising expenditure in the diet and weight control food market*, by leading identified brands in 2012, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                • Special K focuses on online visibility in 2012
                                                                                                                                  • …with heavy TV investment in 2013
                                                                                                                                    • … for Müller to take the lead in adspend
                                                                                                                                      • Weight Watchers also reduced its adspend
                                                                                                                                        • Flavour is a key theme in marketing
                                                                                                                                          • TV advertising dominates but press increases share too
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Advertising expenditure by identified key players in the diet and weight control food market*, by media type, 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Consumer – Attitudes towards Weight Loss

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Dieting is commonplace in the UK
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Attitudes towards weight loss, September 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Consumers who have tried to lose weight or try to maintain their current weight in the last 12 months, by gender, age and socio-economic group, September 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer – Actions Taken to Manage Weight

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Exercise is the most popular route to managing weight
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Actions taken to manage weight, September 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Women are most inclined to cut back on unhealthy foods
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Selected actions taken to manage weight, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Only a quarter eat more diet foods
                                                                                                                                                • Under-25s are more likely to skips meals and eat more protein
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Consumers who skip meals and who eat more high protein food to manage weight, by gender and age group, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Dieting schemes hold niche appeal
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Dieting schemes used in the last 12 months, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Selected dieting schemes used in the last 12 months, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Most popular diets followed in the last 12 months, September 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Consumer – Types of Products Considered to be Healthy

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • The five-a-day message has gained widespread acceptance
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Types of products considered to be healthy, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Over-55s place most importance on fat, sugar and fibre content
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Selected types of products considered to be healthy, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • One in five look for ‘light’ or ‘diet’ products
                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer – Attitudes towards Dieting and Healthy Eating

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Treats are seen as part of a balanced diet
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Attitudes towards dieting and healthy eating, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: agreement with the statement “eating all different types of food in moderation is the best way to stay healthy” and “I occasionally like to treat myself to foods I know are bad for me”, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Three in 10 are perpetual dieters
                                                                                                                                                        • Time, expense and eating out are barriers for under-35s
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Agreement with the statements “I find it hard to eat healthily when dining out”, “I find it too expensive to eat healthily” and “busy lifestyles make it difficult to stick to a diet”, by gender and age group, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Three in 10 see consistent labelling as helpful
                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer – Attitudes towards Diet Foods

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Concerns over the healthiness of diet food
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Attitudes towards diet foods, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Clearer information could help to relieve doubts
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Selected attitudes towards diet foods, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Best- and worst-case forecasts for selected diet and weight control foods, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Share of main monitored media advertising expenditure in the diet and weight control food market*, by leading identified brands in 2012, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Attitudes towards Weight Loss

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Attitudes towards weight loss, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Attitudes towards weight loss, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Actions Taken to Manage Weight

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Actions taken to manage weight, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Dieting schemes used in the last 12 months, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Popular diets tired in the last 12 months, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Most popular actions taken to manage weight, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Next most popular actions taken to manage weight, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Other actions taken to manage weight, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Most popular dieting schemes used in the last 12 months, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Types of Products Considered to be Healthy

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Types of products considered to be healthy, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Most popular types of products considered to be healthy, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Next most popular types of products considered to be healthy, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Other types of products considered to be healthy, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Attitudes towards Dieting and Healthy Eating

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Attitudes towards dieting and healthy eating, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Most popular attitudes towards dieting and healthy eating, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Next most popular attitudes towards dieting and healthy eating, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Other attitudes towards dieting and healthy eating, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Consumer – Attitudes towards Diet Foods

                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: Attitudes towards diet foods, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Agreement with the statement ‘Diet foods are no better for you than standard food products’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Agreement with the statement ‘I trust diet brands to make nutritious foods’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Agreement with the statement ‘Diet food serving sizes are often too small’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Agreement with the statement ‘Diet foods taste just as good as non-diet foods’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Agreement with the statement ‘Often diet foods are not much lower in calories than their standard alternatives’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see clearer nutritional information to show differences between diet foods and their standard alternatives’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Agreement with the statement ‘I am wary of the ingredients/sweeteners that go into diet food products’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see a wider variety of 'diet' options in sweet treats’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more products using natural sweeteners to replace sugar’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be embarrassed to be seen eating diet branded food’, by demographics, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Agreement with the statement ‘I prefer naturally low-fat foods to reduced fat products’, by demographics, September 2013

                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                          To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                          Dieting Trends - UK - November 2013

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