Prebiotics - nature’s Ozempic?

The boom in sales of weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy has shaken up the US food business. It’s prompted fear and uncertainty about their impact on consumers’ eating habits among stock-market analysts and some – but not all – food and beverage executives, who worry that patients of the appetite-suppressing drugs will no longer want to consume calories as wantonly as before.

Los Angeles-based gut health brand SuperGut takes a different approach, with the launch of a marketing campaign in which it calls prebiotics “nature’s Ozempic”. Used to promote its line of prebiotic powders, bars and shakes, the campaign calls prebiotic fibre “the unsung hero for appetite control”.

According to SuperGut, its proprietary prebiotic blend – which includes maize, green bananas, potatoes, oats and vegetables – affects the same biological mechanisms as Ozempic but in a more affordable way and without the side effects. As the brand explains it, the prebiotics produce the same appetite-reducing hormone GLP-1 as the likes of Ozempic do, plus a higher level of butyrate which may positively affect metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

Thanks to this, SuperGut can promote its portfolio with phrases like “hit your appetite’s off switch” and “hunger quieting superfood”.

At $2.33 (€2.15) per daily dose, SuperGut’s powder is significantly cheaper than the $30-40 (€28-37) consumers would have to spend on daily Ozempic injections. At the same time, SuperGut is unlikely to have Ozempic’s nasty side effects which include nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.  

According to CEO Marc Washington, SuperGut’s sales grew by 50% in the month leading up to December 2023 – no doubt fuelled by the Ozempic campaign launched just a few months earlier.

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