If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re unlikely to reach for a Kit-Kat.
But chocolate bar maker Nestlé has started working on new products for people who might be taking weight-loss drugs, to make sure they don’t suffer if people start cutting calories and stop buying their sweets.
The Swiss food giant’s chief executive, Mark Schneider, said Nestlé had not seen any impact from weight-loss drugs such as Wegovy and OZempic on the company’s sales so far, addressing the threat the drugs pose to the industry. of junk food that has spooked investors in recent weeks.
Nestlé shares fell this month after Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said it saw a decline in food consumption as people took drugs to suppress appetite.
Nestlé, maker of Kit-Kat, has started working on a new range of products for people who might be taking weight-loss drugs, to ensure the company doesn’t lose out if people start cutting calories.
“We are already working on a wide range of products that could serve as complementary products,” Schneider said during an earnings briefing.
He told Bloomberg: ‘When you eat less, you have certain needs for vitamins, minerals and supplements. You want to make sure that weight loss is supported. You want to be sure to limit the loss of lean muscle mass.
“The majority of our portfolio will not be affected” by this new generation of weight-loss drugs, he said.
Globally, Nestlé’s largest businesses are coffee and pet care, while frozen foods, candy and ice cream account for 15 percent of sales.
“We are watching this closely and will keep you informed,” Schneider said.
Wegovy, originally for the treatment of diabetes but since approved for weight loss, has been shown to help patients reduce body weight by around 15 percent when used along with exercise and lifestyle changes of life.
It is available in the United States, Norway, Denmark and Germany, all countries where Nestlé sells its products.
In the last three months of 2022, healthcare providers issued more than nine million prescriptions for appetite suppressing medications.
This figure has likely skyrocketed since then, as the appetite for drugs like Ozempic, only approved for diabetes but prescribed off-label for weight loss, and Wegovy grew this year.
A recent analysis suggests that up to 15 percent of Americans (about 150 million people) have tried these drugs.
Amid this rapid trend, which shows no signs of stopping, retailers have already noticed a marked impact on grocery and restaurant orders.
Thomas Makkos, owner of Nello on Madison Avenue in New York, previously told the New York Post that the restaurant now offers “tapas”-sized portions and smaller versions of popular meals like Gnocchi Mona Lisa. The standard version of this meal costs $51, while a newly created, more modest version costs $39.
Several other Upper East Side restaurants are evolving in similar ways.
Sammy Muscovic, owner of Sojourn and Sojourn Social in the neighborhood, said branches have started serving smaller versions of iconic meals, including burgers without fries and three spring rolls for $8 instead of $12 for five.
Big banks, such as Morgan Stanley, predict that 24 million people, or seven percent of the U.S. population, will be taking weight-loss drugs by 2035.
An analysis by the bank also predicts that patients prescribed these drugs will consume a quarter of the sweets, confectionery and other junk food they consumed before, cutting billions of dollars from annual income.
And corporations are already scared. A recent analysis found that executives at junk food companies are increasingly talking about drugs with investors.
Morgan Stanley food analyst Pamela Kaufman said in a report: “The food, beverage and restaurant industries could see weaker demand, particularly for unhealthy foods and high-fat, sweet and salty options.”
The new class of drugs can lead to a 20 to 30 percent reduction in daily calories, and people tend to eat fewer foods high in sugar and fat, meaning that manufacturers of chips, cookies and products baked goods could be affected, according to the banks. predicting a drop in consumption of up to three percent until 2035.
Ozempic and Wegovy are brand names of the drug semaglutide, which suppresses appetite and causes weight loss.
It is administered once a week and requires a prescription.
The medications bind to the GLP-1 receptor, a protein that activates hormones in the brain that keep the stomach full and tell the body to stop eating and avoid cravings.
This year, doctors have already distributed more than 800,000 prescriptions for Ozempic’s sister drug, Wegovy.
However, taking weight loss medications has side effects, including XXX.