Weight-Loss Drugs Could Change Food Production

There’s a little fear spreading around the food production industry that the end of growth is over as we know it. It’s over for producing calorie-dense foods to feed a world on its way to housing 10 billion people since the number is nearing its peak.

Okay, we’ll dial back the melodrama, but truthfully, the industry is apprehensive about what’s to come, and some are wondering what their next role will be.

Would you believe it if we told you that a weight-loss drug sparked these conversations?

Weight-loss medications, like Ozempic, have stomped onto the scene, and they’re changing how consumers view and eat their food. Food manufacturers will have to adapt to inevitable change, but they can get ahead of the curve by providing what consumers want and need.

This is what food producers have done for decades anyway, right?

It comes with the territory of keeping up with the times. We’ll discuss the shift in consumer demand, how manufacturers can meet that, and how this creates space primed for innovation.

   Canada Pushing Innovation Further

But first, if you’re unfamiliar with what weight-loss medicines do exactly, here’s a brief overview…

What Medicines Like Ozempic Do?

Prescriptions like Ozempic are known for helping with weight loss, but that wasn’t their intention initially. Most of them were created to aid diabetic patients in increasing their insulin production.

Weight loss is more of a by-product or side effect of these medications. The difference between the newer drugs is their effectiveness in trimming down your waistline.

They mimic the GLP-1 hormone (Glucagon-Peptide 1) that tells your brain you’re full. The medicine also slows digestion, making you feel fuller longer, but that’s not all.

It also reduces cravings and your overall calorie intake. Before, you would have to undergo bariatric surgery to achieve the same results. 

These types of weight-loss medications treat obesity like a curable, chronic condition versus a long cycle of bad nutritional and lifestyle choices. With one in four Canadian adults being overweight, it’s no wonder that they’ve taken hold.

However, it’s the reduction in calorie consumption that has food manufacturers wondering where to go from here.

The Shift From Calorie- To Nutrient-Dense Foods

Roughly 1 million Canadians use weight-loss medications, which means we know there’s a new market of people looking for something different from their food.

For a considerable time, food production catered to a growing population that wanted tasty and convenient food. Unfortunately, tasty and convenient tends to be accompanied by preservatives, high sodium, and extra calories.

Consumers want their food to coincide with their medical realities. They want their food to aid their weight loss journey, and they want it to be functional.

Yes, functional!

In this situation, food can’t be a one-trick pony. Consumers want foods that work overtime, like having extra protein, sneaking in an extra vegetable serving, and providing more vitamins and nutrients. By the way, flavour is non-negotiable.

The consumer market is shifting from calorie-dense foods to more nutrient-rich foods that serve a purpose.

Product Innovations

An area has opened up for food manufacturers to innovate new meals, snacks, and food products for this market. Of course, that involves making more nutrient-dense food products, but food manufacturers can go further.

Consumers on weight-loss medication are thinking about the journey they’re currently on, but what about when they stop taking the drug?

What about consumers planning to take the drug?

That’s space to plan for the phases consumers may not consider right now. Cravings change before, during, and after use. There’s also a high risk of gaining the weight back once the patient stops usage.

Consumers will need meals and snacks that are high in protein and fiber, low in sugar and sodium, and contain whole grains and healthy fats. They’re looking for foods to help them focus on their weight loss goals. 

However, they’re not necessarily thinking about what that will look like once the medicine is gone. Food manufacturers can have a line of products ready to go once this phase begins.

If a million people in Canada are already on it, then a million people will eventually come off of it or have no need for it. Manufacturers can fill that void.

Paying attention to consumer trends matters more than ever. Some may dismiss weight-loss medications as a fad, but we can’t dismiss everything as a fad.

People thought gluten-free was only a fad, and now, it’s here to stay. The food production industry is transforming, and it’s not all bad.

It’s suspected that the reduction in calorie consumption and the world’s population will cause the industry to shrink and suffer, but the odds of that happening are very low. 

Even though the population will hit its peak soon, that doesn’t mean food manufacturing will struggle or that demand will diminish. It means food production will have to adjust to consumer demand.

Our article on food innovation mentioned that this is the golden age of ingenuity, and it stands true. We have a chance to set the foundation for what’s to come, so let’s make a strong one.

Food manufacturers will need some good people with experience, expertise, and credentials to back it up in food production, management, food science, R&D, and so much more.

At QTalent, we understand that a resume doesn’t necessarily show the full scope of what you do in food manufacturing. Our platform allows you to create a profile that showcases your talent in a way that empowers you to stand out.

Sign up today to see the available job opportunities!

Brittany Brooks

Author

Brittany Brooks has worked in Human Resources as an HR specialist and manager for 10 years. After that time, she decided to use her powers for the good of the workplace. She uses her first-hand experiences in her writing to give employees and business owners an honest look into what’s happening at work.

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