How the Food Industry Could Be Drastically Altered by Weight Loss Medications Like Ozempic

( — People taking new weight-loss drugs like Ozempic have changed their spending habits at Walmart, according to their CEO in charge of U.S. operations, John Furner. Ozempic is one of several semaglutide drugs approved for use by diabetics but increasingly used off-label for weight loss. Although we are still learning about such drugs and their good and bad effects, a common outcome for those using them is a generally decreased interest in food.

A common modern business practice is data-mining your customers for buying patterns and projected earnings. Walmart operates around 3,500 one-stop centers that include groceries and pharmacies, giving them easy access to the necessary information to make these assessments. While there are some concerns about customer privacy, particularly in the case of medical information, Walmart claims that its data is stripped of identifying details that would link to specific persons.

John Furner says that while it is still early days for Ozempic and other drugs of this type, the company has seen what he calls a “slight pullback” with customers buying fewer units, with a decrease in calories purchased overall. Another executive at Walmart mentioned that patients who do use the new weight-loss drugs have a tendency to actually spend more at Walmart overall.

It is important to know that, while rapidly rising in popularity, semaglutide medications are still fairly new, and we are learning more about their effects all the time. Their continued use could mean a decrease in sales and consumption of the delicious sodas and snack foods that Americans love, but the future is difficult to predict. Some food manufacturers are worried, while others are confident in the food industry’s ability to make changes to reflect consumer’s preferences. Conagra CEO Sean Connolly, whose company produces such American favorites as Duncan Hines and Orville Redenbacher, is sanguine about the future of the brands under the Conagra umbrella. He says if consumers are looking for smaller servings or different nutrients, then they will simply “evolve the innovations”.

Copyright 2023,