How GLP-1 users are shaking up the dietary supplement industry

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags sans Sports Nutrition Summit USA Weight loss Weight management Gnc

At the recent Sports and Active Nutrition Summit, GLP-1 medications was a hot topic – with just about every panel receiving a question about the medication’s impact on the sector. While weight loss medications can present challenges for the industry, repositioning existing SKUs as ‘companion’ products for consumers on GLP-1 drugs was revealed as a major opportunity.

Whether it's meal replacements or multis to mitigate nutrient gaps caused by reduced food intake, panelist Kenneth Huntly, VP of merchandising/DMM at GNC, said being a partner in the weight loss journey is key. 

“The interesting thing is that we're seeing people that are starting to take GLP-1s enter into products and use supplements in different ways than they maybe historically have done. With medication comes obviously reduced energy, obviously reduced appetite. With reduced appetite, obviously you're taking in less nutrients. And so people are looking for ways to supplement that to make sure that they're getting all of the nutrition benefits and needs that they have, as they're eating less on these medications. So we're seeing things like supplements to address energy, obviously things like multivitamins, greens, powders, etc. Probiotics are really, really important to this group as well. And so people are looking for these categories to just supplement what they're not getting by their reduced intake of food on these medications,” said Huntly, who was part of the summit's "Evolving Market. The Evolving Consumer" panel.

Another way that GNC is catering to consumers who use GLP-1s is positioning the weight management category in a way that services consumers who have lost the weight and want to discontinue GLP-1 use.

“That's something that GNC is really hyper focused on right now, is being able to service people as they come off of these medications so that they don't gain that weight back that they've lost on that journey on the GLP-1s. So obviously being able to help support them through things like meal replacements and other protein supplements, things like multivitamins, probiotics, still continue to be really important as you're transitioning off of these medications. But really just making sure that we've got holistic meal options for them to address some of the unintended consequences or the reverse benefits of coming off of these drugs so that they don't rapidly put that weight back on,” Huntly said.

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