At least 66% of the US population is overweight. Unsurprisingly the Diet and Weight Loss sector is thriving. In 2007 it was estimated to be worth $68.2billion.
A lot of the big players offer calorie-controlled meal options, meetings, and other support, but this can come with a hefty price tag. With free online alternatives and other issues facing the Diet and Weight Loss sector, is it still a good place to invest?
There are cheaper options available online. The Military Diet is a simple plan open to anyone with an internet connection. It has strict meal plans, using items available in any grocery store, and a 3-days-on/4-days-on schedule.
It even caters for people with specific dietary requirements with lists of Military Diet Substitutes for items in the meal plans. For many people, options like the Military Diet are very attractive. However, they do not always offer the network of meetings and support that other Diet companies can offer. The impact on motivation of these physical networks cannot be overstated.
Historically, the diet industry has been predominantly aimed at women. The prevalence of images of idealized female bodies in the media has helped drive this aspect of the diet industry. In recent years, similar images of the ideal male body have pressured many more men to pursue diet and fitness activities.
Forward-thinking companies now actively target this segment of the population. We would expect this to drive growth in the industry in the short to medium term.
There has been a year-on-year increase in Bariatric surgery to help patients control their weight. Between 2011 and 2017 there was a 44% increase in the number of surgeries. As medical techniques improve and become less invasive, we would expect this trend to continue.
Pharmaceutical companies are also working to develop pills other alternatives to surgery. As things stand, no real alternative has been found, but if you choose to invest in the Diet Industry, this would be one thing to keep a lookout for.
Consumers are becoming much more aware of the impact of what they eat on the environment. This includes issues such as the use of pesticides and food additives, the ethical treatment of animals, the environmental cost of shipping food across the globe, and the use of excessive packaging.
All of these issues are relevant to the Diet Industry, particularly those companies offering ready-made meals. Many consumers buying preferences will be shaped by their attitudes to these issues.
With the number of overweight people in the US still so high, the Diet and Weight Loss sector is going to be with us for the foreseeable future. There are, however, many issues that could impact businesses within this sector.
Should you choose to include any Diet and Weight Loss companies in your investment portfolio, it would be worth researching their business strategy. You need to know how well it addresses technological advances, the potential male market, and their commitment to the environment. There is definitely still profit to be made with the right company.