Nestlé Targets Ozempic Users with New Frozen Food Brand

Nestlé Targets Ozempic Users with New Frozen Food Brand

Nestlé just became the latest consumer brand to try to cash in on the popularity of GLP-1 drugs. The food giant is launching Vital Pursuit, a new line of frozen food specifically designed for users of weight loss drugs, like Ozempic and Wegovy. With this targeted approach, Nestlé hopes to capitalize on a rapidly growing market segment.  

Ozempic Craze

GLP-1 drugs have become more popular over the past year. According to the American Pharmacists Association, about one in 60 adults got a prescription for one in 2023. The total number of U.S. consumers taking the medication could soar to 31.5 million, or 9% of the total population, by 2035, according to Morgan Stanley’s analysts. They expect the market for GLP-1 drugs to be worth $105 billion by 2030. 

Offset potential sales losses

Nestlé first said it was developing products specifically catered to GLP-1 users during an October earnings call, amid concerns that the popularity of such drugs could negatively impact its sales. Semaglutide, the generic name for medications like Ozempic, works by reducing users’ appetite. “We are carefully monitoring whether spreading use of the drugs might dent demand for our products”, explained Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé, during the earnings call. “We are working on companion products that might serve to limit the loss of lean muscle mass in people on the drugs”. 

In U.S. freezer aisles by October

Nestlé will start selling 12 items under its new Vital Pursuit brand by the fourth quarter of this year, the company said. The lineup will include items like protein-packed pasta, sandwich melts and grain bowls with chicken. Each item will have a suggested retail price of $4.99 or less and offer gluten-free options, Nestlé said, though prices can vary by store. Vital Pursuit’s packaging won’t include mentions of GLP-1 medications, but Nestlé said the company will more directly connect the brand to the drugs on social media.

“Stay ahead of the trends” 

“We’re leveraging our deep understanding of consumers and nutritional science to stay ahead of the trends that are shaping consumer behaviors, and innovating across our portfolio to deliver products people will love”, said Steve Presley, CEO, Nestlé North America. In recent years, Nestlé has tried to focus more on health-conscious consumers. In 2018, it sold its U.S. candy business, which includes brands like Butterfinger and Laffy Taffy, to Ferrero for $2.8 billion. The world’s largest food and beverage company already owns Lean Cuisine, which was founded in 1981 as a healthier alternative to other frozen meals.

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