An escalating number of obese Americans and rising disposable incomes will spur growth
Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) July 22, 2013
In 2013, Americans are expected to spend about $2.4 billion on weight loss services. As the percentage of Americans who are overweight or obese continues to rise, the demand for Weight Loss Services industry products strengthens. Currently, 69.2% of Americans are either overweight or obese, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the industry experienced high growth for the first part of the decade, with a greater variety of substitute services available, demand began to slow toward the end of the decade. “Furthermore, lower disposable income decreased consumers' propensity to spend on discretionary weight-loss products and services during the recession and slow recovery period,” according to IBISWorld industry analyst Caitlin Moldvay. Over the five years to 2013, industry revenue declined at an average annual rate of 3.7%. However, from 2011 to 2013, demand has begun to improve along with gains in per capita disposable income. In 2013, industry revenue is estimated to increase 3.1%.
The Weight Loss Services industry is highly competitive with 29,117 companies currently in operation. “During the recession, with adverse demand conditions, smaller companies were forced to exit the industry or were acquired by competitors,” says Moldvay. However, a greater amount of nonemployers, or companies that have no paid staff, during the recovery period led to overall gains in the number of companies over the five-year period. In addition to industry competition, players faced greater competition from do-it-yourself dieting methods, which were increasingly attractive to money-strapped consumers during the recession. Furthermore, weight loss surgery has become more common. As clinics and hospitals typically offer similar services, such as nutrition programs, exercise planning and counseling, these establishments present competition for the industry.
The industry has a high level of market share concentration, slightly increasing during the five-year period. However, this is largely due to strong growth from major player Weight Watchers International Inc., which has increased its market share significantly over the past five years. The company has been acquiring its franchises over the past five years in addition to expanding its product and service line, which has helped it gain market share. In 2008, the company acquired four franchises located in Florida, Kansas and New York. By contrast, Nutrisystem, another major company in the industry, has divested or discontinued some of its business operations over the past five years. In 2010, NutriSystem sold its subsidiary Nutrisystem Fresh Inc., in 2010. Furthermore, during the recession, meal replacement products did not fare as well as diet management services such as Weight Watchers, due to restricted income during the recession. Consequently, the company has lost market share. The third major player in the industry is Nestle SA.
The percentage of Americans who are overweight or obese is expected to rise in the coming years. Worsening health trends and rising per capita disposable income are expected to increase demand for weight loss services in the next five-year period. From 2013 to 2018, industry revenue is projected to increase as well. Over the five-year period, more industry operators will begin targeting men for weight loss programs, as women currently account for the majority of clients. As such, men's weight loss services represent a relatively large untapped market for the industry.
For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Weight Loss Services in the US industry report page.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
Companies in this industry provide nonmedical services to clients to assist them in losing weight or maintaining a desired weight. Services typically include individual or group counseling; menu and exercise planning; and weight and body measurement monitoring. Industry operators may also sell food supplements and other weight reduction products. This industry does not include fitness centers, health resorts and spas or medical or surgical weight reduction services.
Key External Drivers
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Products & Services
Globalization & Trade
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
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