The Weight Management Forum

Obesity is associated with rising rates of heart disease, diabetes and a swath of other chronic diseases. But shoppers are increasingly turned off by marketing focused on “dieting,” and regulatory efforts to tackle sugar, portion sizes and marketing to kids have not made much headway. So how can the food industry tackle the problem and protect its bottom line? We’ve gathered together market researchers, food manufacturers and consumer advocacy experts to find out.

In our forum, moderated by FoodNavigator-USA Senior Correspondent Elizabeth Crawford, we will discuss:

1. What are consumers’ current views on “dieting,” weight management and healthy eating, and how do they compare to those in the past & future? For years the diet industry revolved around what not to eat – fat, sugar, salt, carbs – and counting or restricting calories. But as the science evolves around what types of foods are and are not healthy, so too are consumers’ views of these classic marketing tactics. Now consumers want “clean” ingredients and products that support their general health and wellness – but what do they mean by these terms? Likewise, which ingredients, products and weight management approaches are turning consumers off and which ones are desirable?

2. What is the market potential for weight management products? We constantly hear about the ongoing obesity epidemic and the health dangers of excessive weight. Yet, sales of many diet foods have dropped in recent years, even though the pounds haven’t. How are consumers’ changing views of dieting and weight management limiting and creating marketing opportunities? What weight management marketing strategies are working and which ones aren’t? How much of a premium are consumers willing to pay for specialized diet products to help them manage their weight?

3. How are brands evolving to meet consumers’ changing demands? We will look at case studies of how well-established, iconic weight management brands are responding to the backlash against “dieting,” and consumers’ growing preference for overall wellness.

4. What else can food and beverage manufacturers do to help consumers manage their weight? No one is perfect, especially in times of great change. We’ll look at where manufacturers and brands continue to fall short in helping consumers fight obesity and what else the food and beverage industry can do to improve American’s health going forward.