Obesity Driving the Weight Management Ingredients Market


Since the late 1970’s, an increasing trend in obesity in both adults and children has been observed in the United States, which continues to increase with no sign of slowing down. The WHO/IOTF estimates that 25 per cent of the population in the United States is obese, and although the problem is most prevalent in the United States, a similar trend is being observed with obesity in western Europe, increasingly in some parts of Asia, as individuals adopt Western-style dietary and lifestyle influences.
In the United States, 5 per cent of children aged between 6 and 11 were overweight in 1980, but in 2005 this figure had risen to around 25 per cent. In Europe, the IOTF estimated that the number of obese children at school age increased by around 50 per cent between the late 1990’s and 2006.
Greater economic activity and rising disposable income levels of working professionals in Asian nations such as China and India are resulting in a consumer shift away from traditionally produced food toward a convenience-based western diet that is further exacerbated by more sedentary lifestyles. The resultant rise in obesity rates is spurring consumer interest in active health management, fuelling market growth.
Obesity is a serious global health risk, and has serious health consequences over time. Measures of overweight and obesity are factors associated with a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and also cancer.
Obesity is also associated with the development of the metabolic syndrome, which was first referred to over 60 years ago. The metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of conditions that will increase the associated risks of developing atherosclerotic vascular disease (including strokes and heart disease) and also type II diabetes. This term came into popular use in the late 1970’s. The metabolic syndrome is considered to be prevalent in up to 25 per cent of the United States population1, and the prevalence for developing the syndrome increases with age. This syndrome has also been referred to by a number of alternative names, including metabolic syndrome X, syndrome X, Reaven’s syndrome, insulin resistance syndrome and also CHAOS.
Several factors have been associated with the metabolic syndrome, namely insulin resistance and also the pre-disposition for abdominal fat accumulation. However, the exact mechanism for metabolic syndrome is unknown as the causes are complex and linked together. In most cases, individuals diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome are older, have a degree of insulin resistance, do not exercise as part of lifestyle and are overweight or obese. It is not known whether the metabolic syndrome is caused by obesity or insulin resistance or if these two factors are symptomatic of a more serious condition.
Issues due to obesity and being overweight represent an increasing problem around the globe. Lifestyle changes promoting the increased pursuit of sedentary occupations, and the inability to balance dietary management and exercise patterns, have both contributed to cause the expansion of waistlines. This problem is largest in the United States, followed closely by Europe. In various areas within Asia Pacific, the impact of commercialisation and the adoption of a Western diet and lifestyle has resulted in an increase in body weight among Asian populations.
Tackling and managing obesity is an enormous challenge, both for governments and for the food industry, because the associated health burden affects other industry sectors as well. Whilst healthy eating and lifestyle management are the key solutions to weight management, they remain challenging for many consumers.
As a result, the weight management ingredients market offers significant prospects worldwide. Weight management ingredients are the food and beverage industry’s answer to this spreading global predicament and their popularity is growing globally thanks to an extensiverange of food, beverage and supplement products.
The recently released Frost & Sullivan report, ‘Opportunities in Global Weight Management Ingredients Market’, finds that the market earned revenues of $7.5 billion in 2008 and grew at a rate of 6.8 percent in 2009. Based on an estimated CAGR of 9.2 percent, the market will reach a worth of $13.9 billion by 2015.
Market trends and drivers
There are several types of ingredient products with weight management properties on the market in 2009, which are derived from a variety of origins. A significant component of the market is made up of naturally-sourced products, in response to the growing demand for these globally. Natural foods are regarded more positively in the consumer market, or products that can be perceived as natural.
There is also an increasing pressure on food manufacturers to remove or decrease saturated fat concentrations in food products and food product formulations. Saturated fat levels are strongly associated with an increased level of body cholesterol, which is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome.
The failure rate of consumer diets is also a factor increasing the sales of weight management and control products globally. Recently, weight management ingredients have shifted in line with other products in the functional food ingredients industry.
The weight management ingredients industry responds to the general trend towards increasing obesity in the market, and also the consumers desire for a better body shape. A large number of ingredients companies will therefore either offer one or a variety of ingredients to control a consumers body weight in the weight management ingredients market.
These ingredients are based on plant extracts, proteins, fibres, or alternatively replacers of salt, fat and sugar. The majority of products in the market will offer calorie burning, fat burning, metabolism regulation or satiety-related benefits, or the provision of higher quality ingredient sources from a nutritional basis, primarily high quality protein.
The dual claims of personal appearance management and preventive health management are strong in the market, and there is an interesting differential in 2009, where Asian consumers are targeted more by manufacturers for personal appearance management rather than health and obesity prevention. However, this trend may change over time, as the obesity problem increases further. In future years, manufacturers should consider both aspects in reference to their product marketing.
Weight management ingredients can help the consumer to follow a dietary or exercise programme to lose or maintain weight, and may reduce the dropout rate in some cases from calorie reduction/exercise programmes. The increased interest in active personal health management from consumers will help to drive market growth in the area of weight management ingredients, as companies, governments and the consumers themselves look to solve the problems of the obesity crisis.
In 2009, consumers were not particularly aware of weight management ingredients. The activities and initiatives of large food and drink manufacturers are among the primary driving factors in increasing consumer awareness for weight management and other functional food ingredients. Other issues, such as the clarity of the marketing message, have been identified as a problem in this market sector, and food companies should be targeting their messages with a clear focus on the benefits to the consumer of consuming the weight management ingredient product and its overall efficacy.
No regional differences appear to exist with regards the campaigns followed by these marketers. Strong and clear marketing campaigns, demonstrating the benefits of weight management ingredients will serve to increase consumer awareness and association with particular weight management ingredients. The importance of personal body image represents a primary factor driving growth in weight management ingredients. It is of benefit to the consumer to optimise their physical appearance as much as possible, to increase attractiveness and also to promote a healthy body image. The interest in personal body image also applies to persons wishing to gain body weight, as weight management is also equally relevant to this consumer base.
Market restraintsand challenges
Issues regarding the placement of herbal medicines on the market, together with the length of time it takes for novel foods to be approved for human consumption in Europe, are the major problems for food manufacturers, restricting manufacturer innovation and causing hesitancy in the market.
Additionally, raising awareness among consumers represents a primary challenge for food and beverage manufacturers globally, though this can be facilitated with successful product legislation. “Creating products that are both functional and palatable is another challenge, with several of the accepted weight management ingredients having an undesirable taste profile,” explains Majumdar. “Taste is a key area of concern for food and beverage manufacturers in relation to the finished product’s efficacy and desirability, making functionality and taste equally important.”
To succeed in the global weight management ingredients market, manufacturers should find innovative ways to prolong
ingredient lifespan, work toward securing favourable legislation, and introduce new ingredients into this market.
Product and Application Trends
Product types in the weight management ingredients market are divided into various application sectors; satiety ingredients/appetite suppressants, fat burners (thermogenic ingredients) and other weight management ingredients, including: carbohydrate blockers or substitutes, fat blockers or fat replacers, metabolism regulators and mood regulators.
Currently, the appetite suppressant and satiety ingredients market shows the most attractive growth potential within the weight management ingredients market. In 2009, the satiety ingredients market segment was more widely recognised, but the appetite suppressants market remains in its infancy. The different cultural perceptions on obesity also represents a factor of interest, as these may encourage products and services to be marketed differently across global regions.
In 2009, there were several ingredients in the weight management ingredients market, but a much smaller number are recognised globally, which is a challenge for manufacturers to address in their marketing initiatives.
Examples include DSM’s Fabuless satiety ingredient, along with Lipid Nutrition’s Pinnothin for satiety and Clarinol for body composition improvement, as well as Cognis GmbH with Tonalin (body composition improvement). Additionally, fibres, such as Beneo Orafti’s Synergy 1 and Cosucra’s Fibruline and Fibrulose are increasingly well received in the market for a dual reasons, namely their weight management benefits and also the fact that consumers readily understand the benefits of consuming fibre for their digestive health. The fibre-based ingredients are increasing in popularity in the weight  management ingredients market, primarily because they also have a positive appeal for digestive health and the consumer can clearly perceive a benefit associated with the consumption of fibre.
In 2009, the Alli™ product from GlaxoSmithKline was a strong contender, developing the
market in a way that is brand new, and there is a considerable opportunity for this product in the weight management ingredients market. This product represents a new category in the market, but is not a naturally-sourced product, thus the natural weight management ingredients could compete strongly against this product if they are backed up substantially with clinical trials.
Protein-based ingredients are also well-considered in the market, as protein is recognised as
an essential dietary ingredient. Fat burner ingredients are much more dependent on botanically based products, and Tate and Lyle’s Teawell, DSM’s Teavigo and Taiyo Kagaku’s.
Sunphenon are well recognised in this market. Other ingredients, such as the citrus polyphenol-based Sinetrol from Fytexia, the polyphenol based Appl’in from Diana Naturals, and the Phase 2 carb controller white kidney bean extract from Pharmachem, represent the diversity of ingredients within the weight management market.
Traditionally, weight management product applications have been in areas of dietary supplements products, an area which remains of interest. However, this area has been hit in recent years by revelations over product efficacy and safety, and increasingly, there is now a trend towards the inclusion of active ingredients in functional food products.
Sinetrol, a citrus-based extract from Fytexia has great potential as a fat burner product. Products in the weight management category generally have a very wide range of applications, and the global market potential is increasing. For example, Lipid Nutrition’s Clarinol has been GRAS registered in the United States, for use in fluid and flavoured milks, yoghurts, milk-based meal replacements, meal replacement bars, soy milk and fruit juice applications. Likewise, Beneo Orafti’s Synergy 1 product also has a wide range of application potential, can be sold in powder or liquid forms and can be used throughout dairy and bakery applications, drinks, bars and supplements. Synergy 1 is not suited to very acid products with a long shelf-life, such as fizzy drinks. The main limitation to consumer application is the ability of food and drink manufacturers to comply with marketing and labelling regulations on products.
In certain areas of the food industry, the dairy segment is recognised as an important delivery vehicle for functional ingredients, but certainly in areas such as Europe this is a relatively mature sector of the market. Liquid and powder based meal replacement drinks have dominated sales within the weight loss category recently, including products such as Slimfast from Unilever.
Active ingredients inclusion represents a robust differentiating factor for products in the food market. Examples of active ingredient inclusion in weight management yoghurt products have included Danone’s Shape yoghurt, containing fibres and proteins for satiety purposes.
Other neutraceutical beverages have grown sharply in the last few years, including products such as Enviga, the product of a joint venture between Nestle and Coca Cola. In May 2008, two high profile product launches in the weight management ingredients market have increased consumer awareness of these products, namely Appetite Suppressing from Tesco and also Hungershots from Unilever. In 2007, Unilever also launched a catechin-rich iced tea product called Linea for its ability to aid weight management and fat distribution in Europe.
Custom-specific solutions providers are also existent in the market, such as Armor Proteines, who can supply milk fractions specifically to target their customer needs, and do not specialise in branded ingredients.
Consideration of nutritional profiles is currently of interest in a variety of global regions. Within the weight management ingredients market, the high protein concentration ingredients represent another diversity of product targeting within the satiety market segment, which also helps to improve dietary nutritional quality. In New Zealand, Fonterra’s Ingredients satiety water product, Whole, is an example of a high quality protein supplement, providing 10 per cent of the Re commended Daily Intake (RDI) of protein and 5 per cent RDI of fibre. The Whole product is available in three fruit flavours, and features the CLEAR PROTEIN™ ingredient, based on whey protein derived from milk.
Other product categories should also emerge in the weight management ingredients market, and it was uncertain in 2009 how this market will develop over the next few years. Certainly, developments from probiotics manufacturers promise to have an impact on the weight management ingredients market, and this market has already attracted research interest from Chr Hansen with their PROSAT project, Puleva Biotech with their PRONAOS project and also Nestle, who have published scientific research on the potential for probiotics in weight management. The results of the first submission of the European nutrition and health claims legislation process in January 2010 is set to have a considerable effect on the development of this market.
Additionally, the Mediterranean diet is already very popular globally, and research is now also being carried out to develop the New Nordic diet, based on traditional ingredients and foods from the Scandinavian region. It is considered essential to incorporate dietary changes only in combination with an increased exercise programme, so if dietary regimes can be revised alongside a programme of activity management, the results should prove interesting. Consequently, weight management ingredients and dietary management represents a fast-developing, innovative sector within the overall food and functional foods market, and many more interesting developments are expected in the next few years.
In future years, there will be a trend towards the combination of weight management ingredient products, and the development of new dietary management programmes. Products such as Frutarom’s Finomate™ product is a branded green mate leaf extract, featuring the ingredient EFLA® 920, used as an appetite suppressant, to reduce fat absorption and also for its thermogenic properties.
The food ingredients industry needs a better market connection with the consumer over weight management ingredients, to increase the consumer awareness and acceptance of weight management ingredients. Initiatives from food and beverage manufacturers are important in achieving this goal.
A robust future
Product application vehicles for weight management ingredients in the market are also increasing, and the most popular finished product destinations for weight management products include: dietary supplements, functional yoghurts and dairy drinks, functional or neutraceutical beverages, meal replacement drinks, sports drinks (Regeneration), clear beverages (including water), fruit juices, herbal teas, milk, cereal bars, medical nutrition products, supplements (powder sticks, cups containing liquid formats), bakery applications and functional seasonings.
Many ingredient manufacturers offer formulation support for food manufacturers, which is an essential service in this market. An innovative application in confectionery, including chocolate and chewing gum has also been launched in the U.K. The latest trends are ingredients with multiple benefits, such as weight management benefits obtained through the suppression of appetite or induction of satiety, but ingredients which also provide another additional dimension, such as gut or heart health benefits.
The majority of the ingredient manufacturers supply products for food, beverage and supplement manufacturing. Plant material providers may also target tea manufacturers and tinctures manufacturers, so a wide variety of companies can actively contribute within this market segment. The protein ingredient manufacturers also have a role in supplying high quality nutrition products for use in hospitals and for patients at risk of malnutrition.
“Manufacturers should focus on building brand equity, by utilising co-branding,” explains Majumdar. “Furthermore, they should provide technical documentation and a clear illustration of the benefits and safety associated with each individual weight management ingredient, in order to facilitate effective marketing messages from food and drink manufacturers.”
The problem of ‘globesity’ is increasing, and as yet there is no sense of a solution to the
problem. Healthy eating and lifestyle management remain central to weight management, but are areas of strong challenge for individual consumers. As a result, the weight management ingredients market is increasing, and has attractive development potential.
The global weight management ingredients market is in an early growth stage in the case of appetite suppressants and satiety ingredients, and also fat burners, and some of the segments, such as mood regulators, are at a nascent stage. There is a plethora of ingredients already available for use as supplements within this market.
Food and dietary supplement manufacturers are increasingly adding the ingredients to their product ranges, with meal replacement products being a very popular method of consuming weight management ingredients in 2009.
However, the largest segment of the weight management market is certainly the lifestyle management aspect, with companies such as Jenny Craig in the United States promoting the interface between dietary and exercise management. Thus, much of the market development initiatives in this area will remain a matter of consumer choice.
The weight management ingredients segment is developmental, with the potential for new ingredients to enter the market. The importance of ingredients in the market is increasing rapidly, with the publication of new data and an industry focus on increasing the clarity and support for the message of weight management as part of a lifestyle choice. Responsible weight management ingredient manufacturers are already focusing on the use of the ingredient in the context of an overall diet and exercise plan.
However, in 2009, the awareness of the benefits of weight management ingredients is neither sufficient nor clearly perceived by consumers, and could benefit from extensive marketing efforts. With the promotion of a clear educational message to consumers regarding the validity and value of consuming these ingredients, the market should continue to develop and enjoy a promising future.



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