| Nov 10, 2023

Weighing the Consumer Impacts of GLP-1 Usage

Woman making smoothie in kitchen
GLP-1 medications—more commonly known by their brand names such as Ozempic and Wegovy— have the potential to reshape the eating and shopping habits of users. As these medications gain traction among consumers seeking weight-loss solutions, manufacturers and retailers of food, beverages, and health-adjacent categories will want to keep their eyes on emerging trends and shifts in consumer behavior.

Information on GLP-1 Users

In a recent Numerator survey with over 100,000 respondents in the U.S., 11.8% indicated they had at least one GLP-1 user in their household. Another 6.4% say they were previously using a GLP-1 medication but aren’t anymore. 

Most GLP-1 users (63%) say they’re using the drug for diabetes management, while 47% are using it for weight loss—14% are using it for both diabetes and weight loss. Among those using it for weight loss, 74% are using it with the goal of losing 15+ pounds. Overall, GLP-1 users skew Gen X, African American or Hispanic, and lower income than non-users. These characteristics are amplified among those using it for diabetes management, while those using it for the purpose of weight loss specifically are younger with higher incomes. 

GLP-1 User Profiles

Consumption Shifts Among GLP-1 Households

Early trends indicate that GLP-1 households are pulling back on food and alcohol purchases more significantly than households without GLP-1 users, particularly those with individuals using GLP-1 drugs for weight loss. GLP-1 households decreased food spending by -1.6% in the first nine months of the year versus year-ago—three times faster than non-GLP-1 households (-0.5%). Declines were even more pronounced among households with GLP-1 weight loss users, who decreased food spending six times faster than non-GLP-1 households (-3%). Alcohol spending also declined among both GLP-1 and non-GLP-1 households, but GLP-1 diabetes households did not pull back spend or units as significantly as other groups. 

Beverages are performing well with GLP-1 households—these households have increased spending more quickly than non-GLP-1 households and have pulled back on units more slowly. GLP-1 diabetes households in particular have increased beverage spend and units this year. 

GLP-1 Behavior Shifts

Although overall trends indicate pullbacks among GLP-1 households, many of these shifts are category-specific. Grocery items like hot sauce, sugar substitutes, canned fruit, and dried fruit/fruit snacks are all performing better with GLP-1 households this year versus last, while packaged sweet bakery goods, cold cuts, chips, and packaged cookies are performing worse. Within beverages, GLP-1 households are shifting to sports & energy drinks and away from soft drinks. 

Future Implications & Considerations

The ability to distinguish between GLP-1 use cases is important for an accurate understanding of GLP-1 consumption shifts, since households using the drug for weight loss are showing more pronounced shifts than those using it for diabetes management. Numerator’s GLP-1 Usage Groups allow brands and retailers to pinpoint GLP-1 use cases and analyze GLP-1 Diabetes households and GLP-1 Weight Loss households separately. 

Understanding the behavioral “stickiness” among prolonged users or lapsed users can also inform future wellness-based strategies for brands & retailers. Consumer insights professionals should use this opportunity to prepare themselves not only for future GLP-1 growth but also for future health and weight loss trends. The widespread trial and usage of GLP-1 drugs offers a unique opportunity to analyze consumer behavior before, during, and after known periods of health & weight loss focus. 

GLP-1 Offerings from Numerator

Numerator is taking a variety of approaches to help our clients understand the impact of GLP-1 drugs on their buyers. At the time of this article’s publication, we’ve completed typing over 100,000 households to identify current users, lapsed users, and non-users of GLP-1 medications, with additional views into use case and time on the drug. Custom breakouts are now available for the following GLP-1 groupings:  

GLP-1 Groups

The resulting segments are available now for clients to leverage in custom analyses, including observed purchase activities and hundreds of additional demographic and psychographic characteristics applicable to the households.   

Further syndicated research is already underway at Numerator to gain an in-depth understanding of current, lapsed, and potential future GLP-1 users. These views include but are not limited to:

  • Current Users: Length of use, intended future use, payment methods, perceived benefits and disadvantages, and claimed changes to cravings or product consumption.
  • Past Users: Length of use, reason for stopping, perceived benefits and disadvantages, likelihood to use again, and claimed impact on daily health and wellbeing.
  • Potential Future Users: Reasons for considering usage, weight loss/health goals, likelihood of use, and what factors will be most influential in determining usage. 

Interested in learning more about how GLP-1 usage is impacting your buyers? Talk to your Numerator representative about custom research opportunities or get in touch with our team today.