ROCKVILLE, Md. – US retail sales of weight management products and services will reach $38 billion in 2013 and $40.9 billion in 2016, according to “Weight Management Trends in the US,” a new report from Packaged Facts.

The entire weight management market includes food and beverages, meal replacements, diet aids and commercial weight management programs. Foods and beverages represent 80 percent of sales of weight management products and services. Meal replacements and diet aids represent less than 12 percent of total dollar sales and commercial weight management programs represent 9 percent. US retail sales of weight management foods and beverages through all channels reached $29.4 billion in 2012, up 3 percent from $28.5 during the previous year.

The market is being driven by the growing number of overweight and obese consumers in the United States with nearly 70 percent of adults and 32 percent of school-age children and adolescents being classified as either overweight or obese. Packaged Facts said Simmons panel data from Experian Marketing Services found nearly 39 percent of US adults are watching their diet to either lose or maintain weight.

Supermarkets and grocery stores have about a 62 percent share of retail dollar sales of weight management products, with supercenters and mass merchandisers having a 17 percent share. The largest category in food and beverage for weight management is refrigerated skim/low-fat milk, with sales of $7.2 billion in mass-market channels in 2012. The second-largest category is low or no calorie carbonated beverages.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are the leading marketers of weight management products with their diet beverages. Coca-Cola had $2.1 billion in sales of low-/no-calorie soft drinks in 2012, according to SymphonyIRI, and PepsiCo had nearly $1.4 billion in sales of low-/no calorie beverages. Nestle USA ranks third with Lean Cuisine and Lean Pockets products, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group comes in fourth. Despite all this, private label outsells any of the major marketers.

Diet Coke is the largest brand of weight management products with nearly $1.9 billion in retail sales in mass-market channels in 2012. Diet Pepsi came in second, followed by Nestle’s Lean Cuisine products in third and Weight Watchers Smart Ones from H.J. Heinz in fourth.

“For marketers, the opportunity to help provide better responses to the nation’s obesity epidemic is expanding,” Packaged Facts said. “At the same time, as the battle of the bulge continues the arsenal consumers use is changing. Commercial weight management programs such as Curves, eDiets, Jenny Craig, HealthyWage, Medifast, Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers are expected to re-gain steam by 2015 as marketers offer targeted new programs.”