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Anti-obesity drugs threaten food industry?

Should the agri-food industry fear the arrival of new anti-obesity drugs?

What are the consequences for consumption trends?

Will there be a "before" and an "after" for the anti-obesity drugs that are arriving in force in Europe?

Weight-loss drugs are becoming increasingly popular, and are also seen as a potential solution to the scourge of obesity.

For the record, these injectable drugs are based on semaglutide, which mimics the body's GLP-1 hormone to aid insulin production and signal the brain to reduce appetite.

These drugs are initially used to manage type 2 diabetes.

Today, the world is facing a real obesity crisis, with over a billion people obese and many more overweight.

The new generation of weight-loss drugs is seen as a potential solution to this problem, but it has also raised concerns in the food industry.

The drugs available could indeed have an impact on the food industry, as they could reduce demand for sugary drinks, baked goods and salty snacks.

Fast-food chains and sellers of sweet foods and beverages fear that these drugs will lead to a drop in sales, as people will be more inclined to lose weight and eat more healthily.

However, it's not clear how many people will actually take these drugs, and food companies will have to adapt to this new reality.

According to forecasts, 24 million people, or 7% of the US population, could be taking these new GLP-1 drugs by 2035.

A survey of 300 patients taking these drugs showed that they ate less and cut back most on foods rich in sugar and fat.

Around 90% of those taking the drugs said they snacked less, and 77% said they visited fast-food restaurants less often.

According to several studies, these new weight-control drugs could lead to a drop in the consumption of sugary drinks, baked goods and salty snacks in the USA of around 3% by 2035.

However, food industry leader do not foresee a significant impact on sales, as they believe that the use of these drugs will remain relatively low and that consumers will continue to buy their favorite brands, but in smaller portions.

Some companies have already taken steps to adapt to this potential change in consumer behavior, notably by reducing portion sizes and using healthier ingredients.

Don't hesitate to ask our dedicated teams for more details on this topic. 

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