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Americans Pick a New Resolution in the New Year

It’s an oft-cited cliche, but it’s often cited for a reason: Americans love to make New Year’s resolutions every January 1, and those resolutions are usually tied to weight management in some form. New diets, renewed gym memberships and a focus on healthy living figured prominently for many Americans in previous years. This year, however, could be somewhat different.

According to a report from Mintel, nearly 91% of Americans believe it is better to eat a well-rounded diet than use diet products. In addition, sales of weight-control tablets plummeted 20% for the 52-weeks ending July 2015, part of a consumer shift from synthetic or artificial ways of losing weight to a more natural approach. This new outlook on dieting figures to impact many food producers who target the healthy-eating demographic.

Mintel research reveals that most consumers are concerned over the healthiness of diet foods and drinks, as well as diets in general: Some 77% of U.S. consumers agree that diet products are not as healthy as they claim to be, while 61% believe most diets are not actually healthy. Despite their negative beliefs regarding diets and diet products, nearly 72% of adults agree that dieting is worth the effort to achieve their own personal ideal weight. Marrissa Gilbert, Health & Wellness Analyst at Mintel, offered this analysis:

“Consumers are somewhat skeptical about diet products, and instead of purchasing traditional diet-specific products they are turning to a well-balanced diet and products that support it. The diet industry faces downward pressure as US adults remain skeptical of the ingredients in diet-specific products, their effectiveness in managing weight and the fact that in reality a magic weight loss pill likely doesn’t exist.”

U.S. consumers are turning to calorie cutting as their preferred method of controlling wait. Nearly 50% of those surveyed managed their weight by counting calories, but meal replacement shakes (24%), raw food or vegetarian and vegan diets (19%), high-protein diets (18%) nutrition-based diets (17%) and utilizing a diet application via a mobile device (17%) were also popular alternatives to the diet foods of yesteryear.

Companies that traditionally served weight-management markets will likely need to reevaluate how they operate in the future if trends like these continue to evolve. Do you think these alternative diets will last in the future, or will they be a fad confined to 2016?