Eat and Run: New IBISWorld Industry Research Report Shows Demand for Meal Replacement Products Soaring as Consumers Crave Quick and Healthy Food

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The Meal Replacement Product Manufacturing industry will experience substantial revenue growth in the five years to 2016. According to a new industry research report from IBISWorld, growth in per capita disposable income will result in more consumer spending on discretionary products. Moreover, IBISWorld industry analyst Mary Gotaas adds that “as Americans go back to work, many of them will have less free time and will likely demand more convenient food items. In addition, Americans will continue to struggle with weight loss and want to improve their nutrition. From 2011 to 2016, industry revenue is expected to increase by an average of 4.1% per year to $2.7 billion. In 2012, revenue is forecast to grow by 4.5% as consumers continue to recover from the recession.”

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Rising obesity rates and robust demand for convenient food products are two trends that helped revenue thrive. These products are also cheaper than other forms of weight loss.

The Meal Replacement Product Manufacturing industry has experienced strong revenue growth in the five years to 2011. Rising obesity rates and robust demand for convenient food products are two trends that helped revenue thrive. These products are also cheaper than other forms of weight loss goods; therefore as the recession pinched, consumers continued to buy meal replacement products. As the economy recovers from the recession and disposable income rises and more people go back to work, more consumers will likely increase their spending on discretionary goods and on food products that can be eaten on the go.

In addition to rising revenue growth, the number of industry companies is expected to increase. Gotaas claims that “in the five years to 2016, the number of firms is expected to rise by an average of 2.5% per year to 269 firms. With profit margins of about 4.9% and revenue continuing to rise, this industry is quite attractive to new entrants. Employee numbers are expected to follow suit, with employment forecast to rise at an average of 1.9% per year to 13,983 workers.” Major companies already operating in this industry include Unilever and Abbott Laboratories, which have market share of around 10-11%. Abbott Laboratories produces the Ensure, EAS and ZonePerfect brands, while Unilever produces the Slim-Fast brand.

However, it’s not all good news. According to Gotaas despite robust growth, the industry has faced some setbacks. “Rising prices of raw material inputs like milk and soybeans have negatively affected the industry’s costs. The industry also faces strong competition from weight loss services. Many Americans are able to purchase more expensive weight loss treatments as the economy rebounds and disposable income expands.”

For more information visit IBISWorld’s Meal Replacement Manufacturing industry report.

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Companies in this industry manufacture meal replacement products and protein supplements. These products come as prepackaged powdered drink mixes, ready-to-drink beverages or edible bars designed to replace prepared meals.

Main Activities
Producing edible bars
Producing ready-to-drink shakes
Producing prepared powdered drink mixes

Major products and services in this industry
Edible bars
Powdered products
Ready-to-drink shakes

Meal Replacement Manufacturing Industry Report Key Topics
Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle

Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets

Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry

Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity

Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Savannah Haspel
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