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In our current society, there is a strong connection between slimness and beauty in the eyes of consumers. This trend can lead to confusion between physical appearance and health, with a tendency to believe that being thin equates to being healthy.

To counteract this trend, movements such as body positivity have emerged in recent years, advocating for the acceptance of all body shapes and sizes and denouncing “bodyshaming” and fatphobia. However, this trend may also have its limitations if the focus is solely on praising these “curves” without promoting good health.

Slimness: Towards a more holistic approach?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the trend of well-being and overall health through nutrition has been very prominent, and not just for weight loss. Consumers now have a holistic view of health and well-being through the lifestyle and hygiene practices they adopt.

Noticeable changes in their habits are observable, especially regarding women’s fitness goals in recent years. Previously, the main objective of their physical activity was weight loss. However, nowadays, an increasing number of women aim to improve their overall physical condition, sculpt their bodies, or even gain muscle mass. The democratization of sports has become even more important in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the return to normal life has motivated many people to engage in or resume physical activity, particularly to maintain good health.


A market that is well established and seeking to reinvent itself…

Today, over 65% of consumers worldwide express increased concerns about their health and the health of their loved ones since the Covid-19 pandemic. They consider weight management as the number one factor to improve their health and well-being.

In the context of growing obesity and diabetes epidemics, an increasing number of dietary supplements are shifting their focus from the “slimness” promise to “weight control.” The average annual growth rate of new products launched with weight management claims worldwide between 2017 and 2021 is estimated at 11% [1]

In France, “slimness” ranks 8th in pharmacies (-17.3% ompared to 2021) and 1st in general retail stores (-17.3%) [2]. While this promise still holds a significant place in the sales of food supplements, the market needs renewal to counteract the significant decline in sales.

A paradigm shift is emerging in this segment with the proliferation of products positioned for “weight control” rather than “weight loss,” using more precise and scientific terms such as “muscle mass” or “body fat,” for example.

… with strong consumer expectations.

Consumers are drawn to more natural (growing by 42%) and organic (60%) weight control products [1]. The demand for clean-label products is intensifying as consumers seek more natural options without additives but with proven effectiveness.

In terms of sought-after ingredients recognized by consumers for their weight control benefits, caffeine, green tea, soluble fibers (such as konjac or psyllium), apple cider vinegar, as well as superfoods like turmeric or pomegranate, the Garcinia Cambogia plant, and probiotics, which are highly popular in Asia, are prominent. Plant-based products are experiencing significant growth due to their perceived natural image in the eyes of consumers.

Like other promises, nutraceuticals are becoming more foodified to meet consumer expectations of combining pleasure and health. Functional foods and beverages are growing in popularity as they break away from the restrictive image of “slimming diets”. For example, gummies have seen significant sales growth in recent years, although they still lag behind more traditional formulations like capsules and tablets, particularly in France. The “candy-like” form of gummies garners attention, notably due to their complex formulation and the presence of sugars or sweeteners, which may appear contradictory for a “weight control” promise.

Products are increasingly positioning themselves towards overall body well-being and health rather than solely focusing on physical appearance. Far from being obsolete, the slimness market holds immense potential for rejuvenation by advocating for a holistic approach and a more precise and educational discourse.

[1] Innova Market Insights, 2021.
[2] Synadiet, Le marché des compléments alimentaires, 2022

Rédigé par : Elitepharm Laboratoires

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