(NewsNation) — There are signs America’s weight-loss drugs may also be taking a bite out of food industry profits.
Walmart executive John Furner said in an interview with Bloomberg this week that drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy have impacted sales.
“We definitely do see a slight change compared to the total population, we do see a slight pullback in overall basket,” he said. “Just less units, slightly less calories.”
Other executives tied to the food industry acknowledged they may also start seeing an impact from the drugs.
“Like everything that potentially impacts our business, we’ll look at it, study it and, if necessary, mitigate,” said CEO Steve Cahillane, whose company produces Pringles.
“A company like Campbell Soup doesn’t want to see any of their profits erode. So, look, if there’s even a 1% hit on a bag of Fritos, that’s gonna be fairly significant. I think they’ll start to look for other avenues if you will. You’ll see a healthy bag of Doritos, assuming that’s possible,” said NewsNation business contributor Gary Smith.
Ozempic has rocketed in popularity over the past year after patients reported its effectiveness at weight loss. The diabetes drugs works by suppressing appetite and has been in high demand and low supply.
It’s estimated that by 2035, the global market for weight-loss drugs could reach $100 million, according to Forbes.
Phil Lempert, a consumer product expert and publisher of SupermarketGuru.com, says food companies should be “nervous” about the trend.
“It’s going to change every food brand, it’s going to change every restaurant, it’s going to change every supermarket that’s out there,” Lempert said Thursday on “CUOMO.”
Morgan Stanley estimates that people on the drugs cut their consumption by as much as 30%, The Wall Street Journal Reported. It could mean fewer bags of chips, bottles of soda and packages of cookies going out grocery doors.
“If in fact we can use this to trigger people to eat better, to be more focused on the whole grains and on the foods that they want, it’s good,” Lempert said.