Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/29/2014 -- The meal replacement category benefited from a combination of factors in 2013. In fact, the category profited from a fall in competition from slimming pills. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) recommendations, laid out in 2011, were more damaging to slimming tablets than meal replacement products. While certain nutritionists continue to push slimming pills and dietary supplements, meal replacement products have experienced no reputational repercussion. Moreover, a new trend favouring protein-based diets, mainly following the success of nutritionists such as Dr Dukan in France and Dr Franck in Belgium, have benefited meal replacement products.
Novartis Consumer Health SA NV was the outright leader of the category in 2013. The company led the category at the beginning of the review period, but with the acquisition of the Weight Care brand from GLN Food Laboratories, its main rival, at the end of 2009, the company gained further ground. Novartis grew by three percentage points in terms of value share in 2013.
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A slightly better economic situation is set to present a more positive climate for this category, as meal replacement products are not perceived as being an essential part of a diet. However, as all major macroeconomic parameters indicate, consumers should be able to spend more freely from 2015. At the same time, Belgian consumers will be increasingly encouraged to opt for healthier food choices rather than relying on meal replacement products, reflecting the efforts of the PNNS (Programme National Nutrition Sante). The combination of these two factors is likely to result in the slow growth of the category over the forecast period.
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