Weight Management: Awareness and Dietary Habits

8th January 2024


Amid an era of uncertainty, consumers have likely gained weight in the last year. This could be a result of increased comfort in eating and drinking. Among a significant proportion of consumers, our findings suggest that many are unsatisfied with their waistlines. This includes consumers classifying themselves as overweight, or expressing that they want to lose weight. Importantly, consumers are aware of the link between weight management and the risk of disease and illness. In response to this increased awareness, many consumers have incorporated an approach of avoidance and moderation, as well as back-to-basics nutrition in terms of dietary habits. However, brands must be aware that overall, consumers deem a healthy diet as balanced and compromise-free. As a result, brands must make food and drink labeling clear and concise. This will enhance transparency and trust among consumers. Also, consumers will be able to moderate and avoid certain dietary evils, such as sugar, more easily.

Weight Management, Dietary Habits, Consumer Insights, Market Research, Food And Drink, FMCG, Weight Loss.

Consumer Attitudes & Awareness

FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights reveal that on a global scale, 36% of consumers deem themselves overweight or obese. Additionally, 33% of global consumers feel that they have gained weight over the last twelve months. This highlights that the proportion of obese and overweight people continues to rise.

It is important to note that what consumers deem a healthy weight varies and is subject to various factors. However, this subjectivity means that many consumers will be unaware of their risk of various health problems if they are over or underweight.

FMCG Gurus’ market research shows that 15% of consumers say they do not know what their recommended weight is or are unsure. Also, 17% of people say they weigh themselves once a week. This illustrates that a significant proportion of consumers are not observant of their weight, perhaps making assessments determined by their perceptions, rather than what would be deemed a healthy weight based on their BMI. This lack of awareness around what the recommended weight is highlights a key opportunity for brands that operate in the weight management, and dietary markets. Brands must ensure that there is more information and education around weight, through reliable sources and legitimate scientific evidence.

Weight Management, Dietary Habits, Consumer Insights, Market Research, Food And Drink, FMCG, Weight Loss.

What Constitutes as a Diet?

Conventionally, diets have been based solely on avoidance and moderation of dietary evils, such as sugar. But with this, consumers would adopt a rather regimented and strict approach to what they eat and drink. The main goal would be to lose weight as quickly as possible. However, in today’s world, diets are more likely to fail due to feelings of sacrifice. This approach is unsustainable for many consumers in the long term. As a result, many consumers have taken a new approach to dieting. This approach continues with avoidance and moderation but without feelings of compromise and sacrifice. Instead of taking a strict, radical approach, consumers are now dieting in a way that is more balanced and somewhat compromise-free. With this approach being more realistic, it has proved to be more sustainable in the long term among consumers. For instance, FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights reveal that 71% of global consumers associate a balanced diet with being compromise-free, while 64% see it as a life goal. This highlights how important it is for consumers to feel they can continue these healthy eating plans for the long term.

Weight Loss & Dieting

Consumers have adopted a holistic approach to weight management. This can be seen through consumers addressing their weight both through lifestyle and dietary habits.

While consumers deem exercise as key for addressing weight loss, dietary habits are seen as the main focus among people who are looking to lose weight. Some of these dietary habits can be seen through minimizing a dependency on convenient and indulgent food and drink and making more of an attempt to monitor micronutrients. FMCG Gurus’ market research shows that 67% of global consumers say they are looking to reduce their intake of sugar. This highlights a huge awareness among consumers of the link between excessive intake and weight gain. In addition,  69% of global consumers are incorporating a back-to-basics approach to nutrition by eating more fresh food and vegetables. This means consumers will be minimizing their intake of convenient and processed food, both at-home and out-of-home, and instead, consume more fresh fruit and vegetables.

This article is based on FMCG Gurus: Exploring Weight Management – Country Reports 2023. For more information, please click here.

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