Helping combat obesity in adults with weight management are FDA-approved drugs like Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Wegovy, which assist in various health issues like managing diabetes and weight loss to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and heart attacks. These increasingly popular weight-loss drugs are showing great results for individuals using them, leading to a shift in the nutritional needs among consumers that is generating the attention of many in the food industry. Optimistic that the GLP-1 drugs provide new opportunities for food companies is Nestle, which has recently announced that it will be launching a new line of food products to meet the shifting needs of those on weight management medication.

GLP-1 drugs consist of a growing class of drugs that are rising in popularity due to their relatively easy use and proven results. These drugs work by resembling the action of the gut hormone that plays a role in helping regulate appetite and blood sugar, offering a degree of weight loss previously only reached through surgery. 

When these drugs first hit the medical market, food industry leaders were worried that they would take a bite out of company revenue, leading to a reduction in food consumption that would ultimately hurt their businesses, but these fears have since been squashed, opening the food industry’s eyes to the new opportunities the shifting nutritional needs have presented them. 

Nestle’s CEO, Mark Schneider, recently told CNBC “I think what since has emerged is that nutritional needs don’t go away. They’re just shifting. So, you know before, during, after GLP-1 therapy—consumers still have nutritional needs, but they may be different from someone who is not on a weight loss regimen.” For Schneider, the shifting needs of those on weight management programs are opening up massive market opportunities that Nestle plans on taking advantage of, launching a new line of food products that will be designed to fulfill the needs of GLP-1 users later this year. 

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Those on weight management programs still need to ensure they intake appropriate amounts of protein, vitamins, and micronutrients, but the ways in which these individuals do so is what’s changing. To help meet these needs, Schneider revealed that Nestle will be launching healthier “companion products” that target GLP-1 users. 

Some of Nestle’s new line of companion products will be their upcoming frozen food line, called Vital Pursuit, which will include 12 new products. Vital Pursuit products include classic options adapted for those taking GLP-1 drugs, ranging from frozen protein pastas to sandwich melts and pizzas. This Nestle brand of frozen products are made with a higher amount of protein and essential nutrients like iron, vitamin A, and potassium, and the company revealed that Vital Pursuit is “portion-aligned to a weight loss medication user’s appetite.”

Yet, GLP-1 users are not the sole focus of Nestle’s new line, which recognizes that there are many non-GLP-1 users out there. However, many of Nestle’s new line of food products will appeal to consumers on any type of weight loss journey, “Because the same fundamentals apply, and that is you want to be sure that you’re losing fat and not lean muscle mass and you want to be sure that you don’t develop any vitamin deficiencies,” Schneider said.

The company plans on launching its new food line later this year in the U.S., with goals to expand elsewhere in the future.