Weight loss concoctions, urgh, I can hear you snort with palpable disdain. I’m sure most of us have brushed up against these foul things at least once in our lives.
I remember buying some fibre tablets when I was a dumpy teenager. The idea was that they would swell up in your stomach and give you a feeling of fullness. They were like huge wooden pellets and made me gag when I tried to swallow them. As for the ‘slimming’ effect… well… erm… at least they kept me regular. I also bought a packet of slimming pills back in the 80s, but after reading through a long list of bone-marrow-curdling side effects (one of which was ‘personality changes’…!?!), they duly ended up in the trash.
OK, so maybe I wasn’t exactly a poster child slimming aids consumer, but as a product category, slimming aids are hugely successful. According to the magic database, hopeful dieters spent US$13.3 billion on these products last year.
Meal replacement slimming products (think Slim Fast shakes and those beefed-up-with-vitamins snack bars that taste like cardboard, which you’re meant to be eating instead of real food) made up the bulk of sales, raking in almost US$7 billion in 2012. And there’s no prize for guessing who forks out the most. Of course, it’s the US, generating just over one third of global sales, followed by South Korea, Japan, Brazil, Mexico and Italy. South Korea, surprisingly, has a higher per capita spend on meal replacement products than the US. Go figure!
The US and Japan (Japanese women are notoriously weight obsessed) feature as the top consumers of weight loss supplements, which amassed US$4.5 billion in value sales world-wide in 2012. Those fibre tablets I mentioned would fall into this category. Mexico, Taiwan and Russia are the next big spenders.
Slimming teas, surprisingly enough, is the category which grew the fastest in 2012 in terms of value sales. China is the biggest market for weight loss tea, followed by Russia, Taiwan, the US and Thailand.
I just love the product info for this Chinese brand:
This product is manufactured after strict checkout and authorized by national sanitation department, which takes jiaogu cyan, gingko leaves, tea polyphenols and lactose as main raw material. After making the function test, it proves that this product has health care function of reducing weight.
1. This product can not replace medicine.
2. It should stop using this product when weight reaches normal weight.
Improper object: Pregnant women and lactation mother
I don’t know about you, but I can feel a coffee & cake session coming on…
[For data source, click here]