Numerator Dives Into Sales Impact of Weight-Loss Drugs

GLP-1 weight-loss mediations are becoming more popular and are driving down purchases.

December 12, 2023

Numerator reported information from 100,000 panelists who have shared information on their usage of GLP-1 weight loss drugs. Included in this class are Ozempic, Wegovy and Zepbound.

Of the users surveyed, almost all were using the drugs for diabetes management a year ago, with only 10% using the medications for weight loss. Today, about half of respondents use the GLP-1 medications for weight loss.

“Right now, with all of the increase we’ve seen in people using these medications, there are another 20% of households saying they’re interested in taking these medications for weight loss in the future—they’re just waiting for prices to come down and to see how safe and effective these medications are,” said Dr. Leo Feler, Numerator’s chief economist.

For those who have lost more than 15 pounds, all grocery purchases are down 7.7%. Snacks are down 7%, and ice cream 3%. For those who have not lost 15 pounds, all grocery purchases are down 11%.

Numerator reported that “other departments like beverages and fresh meal kits remain steady across the two groups, with consumers using the medication for weight loss not showing significant changes in buy rate, remaining steady at -1 to 1% vs. YA.”

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, the CEO of Novo Nordisk, which makes Ozempic and Wegovy, told a reporter this week that "there's no doubt that with the intervention we see now with the GLP-1 medicines, you see [there's a] significant shift in consumer behavior ... some of these categories will be impacted.”

A new study on Zepbound found that over a period of about eight months, adults lost an average of 20.9% of their weight. However, when these people stopped taking the drug, they gained back about 14% of their weight over the course of a year.