Weight Loss Market Trends – Online vs. Off-line Dieters

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BestDietForMe.com releases 3rd qtr. online dieters report.

Marketdata Enterprises, the market research firm that operates http://www.BestDietForMe.com, now the #4 traffic diet website on the Web, has just released its latest quarterly report of online dieter behavior, revealing some key trends. BestDietForMe offers a Free diet analysis “matching service” and tons of useful content.

Overall Weight Loss Market Trends

1) Convenience Is Key…

NutriSystem has been doing exceptionally well this year, by using a blend of short form TV and print ads. The average customer lasts 9.5 weeks on its plan. NutriSystem expects to triple sales from 2004—to $150+ million. What this diet company is packaging and selling right now is essentially convenience. They’ll deliver 5 weeks of food (breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks) to your door, incl. shipping, for $280. This eliminates some traditional obstacles that diet centers have long faced. You don’t have to drive to weekly meetings or to the center to pick up your diet food. There are no embarrassing weigh-ins. You can order anonymously, online, 24/7. Apparently, that’s a winning combination for many dieters.

2) Most Weight Loss Companies Are Doing Well…

The thing that impresses BestDietForMe.com analysts is that this year seems to be different than past ones. The Summer is usually the slow diet season. Not in 2005—most diet programs have been filled to capacity right through the Summer months and into the Fall.

3) A Blend of Traditional and Online Advertising Works…

NutriSystem and eDiets don’t just advertise online anymore. Even eDiets now runs TV commercials, realizing that you can’t get all your customers online. Another new phenomenon we’ve seen is the tie-in between weight loss related TV shows like “The Biggest Loser” and the websites they operate (which sells a diet program).

4) Diet Companies Bridge Gap Between Weight Loss and Other Women’s Interests…

More diet websites are branching out into complementary products and services for dieting women, to more fully leverage their website’s space and to keep visitors at their sites longer. Topics you’ll now see advertised on leading diet websites include: Dating/personals, Sex and relationships, Skin care products, Laser hair removal, womens’ Healthcare Products and drugs.

5) Diet Pay-Per-Click Ads Get More Expensive, Competitive…

http://www.BestDietForMe.com analysts noted that during the 3rd quarter, the bids on many popular weight loss key words increased. It’s now more expensive to run large paid search campaigns. New diet websites will find it more difficult to break through and be noticed. In addition, major systems such as Google raised the price of ads significantly by moving the minimum bid from 5 to 10 cents per click. This is forcing many diet sites to migrate to less costly systems and to more closely examine where they advertise, as they seek more relevant traffic focused on dieting.

3rd Quarter Findings – Online Dieters

BestDietForMe.com examined a sample of 20,456 dieters that completed the website’s online survey, from July 1 to September 30. Following are several key findings:

  • Method - Most dieters overall are do-it-yourselfers—estimated by many at 70%. The BDFM data show this as well. This is the #1 preferred diet program format or location. If we combine the “home/online/telephone” and “celebrity plan or bestselling diet book”, the do-it-yourself group represented 56% of BDFM visitors in the 1st quarter. This share rose to 59% in the 2nd quarter and 63% by the 3rd quarter.
  • High blood pressure is the leading Medical Condition affecting online dieters. Headaches and migraines combined also rank high on the list.
  • Nearly 41% of online dieters have Special Foods Needs, sensitivities, or allergies.
  • Diet Budget - An overwhelming 62% wants to spend less than $250 on a diet plan. However, in the 3rd quarter, there was a notable shift to spending more on a diet plan. The share of online dieters willing to pay $500 or more rose. This may signify that as the diet season matured, dieters got more desperate and signed up for structured plans.
  • Diet Food Home Delivery - This is a small but growing share of the dieting population, as more companies emerge and expand to national distribution rather than select metro areas only. These services typically cost $10-40 per day. Interest in home delivery rose to its highest point so far this year—6.1% by the 3rd quarter.
  • Support - At least 44% of all online dieters need some form of Psychological Support, whether they want it or not. Of the three psych areas, nearly 70% need Emotional Eating support as part of their diet program.

The Quarterly Online Dieter Research Report is priced at $895, and includes 9-month 2005 data (1st 3 quarters). Annual subscription is $2,995. The 3rd quarter report is 54 pp. long, tracks 112 metrics, contains 36 tables and charts, and is accompanied by insightful commentary and analysis—for online dieters and the overall weight loss market. Call for details.

About Bestdietforme.Com/Marketdata

http://www.BestDietForMe.com is operated by Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., an independent analyst of the U.S. weight loss industry since 1989.

Contact Information:

John LaRosa, Research Director

BestDietForMe.com/Marketdata Enterprises Inc.

813-931-3900

http://www.BestDietForMe.com

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