CEOs ask Wegovy’s Novo Nordisk for advice after shift in trends

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    Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen has been fielding calls from food company chief executives who have questions about the company’s diabetes and weight-loss-related drugs.

    “They are scared about it,” Jorgensen told Bloomberg. The company confirmed to FOX Business he did not name names. 

    However, it is no surprise that these drugs – Ozempic and Wegovy – which are the same medication but have different FDA-approved intended uses and are known to suppress appetites and change food preferences – are catching their attention. 

    Ticker Security Last Change Change %
    NVO NOVO NORDISK A/S 121.73 -1.57 -1.27%

    They have also faced supply constraints due to feverish demand sparked by social media and celebrities touting the drugs’ weight-loss effects. 

    A pharmacist displays boxes of Ozempic, a semaglutide injection drug used for treating type 2 diabetes and made by Novo Nordisk, at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 29, 2023. (Reuters/George Frey / Reuters Photos)

    Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, admitted taking it as part of a broader weight loss plan.

    DIABETES-RELATED WEIGHT LOSS DRUGS FACING SUPPLY ISSUES AMID VIRAL TREND

    Mondelez International, whose portfolio of brands includes Oreo, Ritz and Clif Bar, told FOX Business that its portfolio is “well positioned to help consumers snack more mindfully” and that its “categories are less likely to be impacted than others.” 

    Ticker Security Last Change Change %
    MDLZ MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC. 71.61 +0.20 +0.28%

    “We’re already in the practice of continuously innovating our products to meet changing consumer tastes and behaviors – offering a wide range of choices,” the company said. 

    oreo

    Mondelez International told FOX Business that its portfolio is “well positioned to help consumers snack more mindfully.” (iStock / iStock)

    Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner told analysts in November during an earnings call that while it was still too early to tell how this will affect customers and the business, the company has seen “some shifts in categories.” 

    WEIGHT LOSS MEDICATION SHORTAGE CREATES MARKET FOR BOGUS DRUGS

    Before that, Furner acknowledged in an interview with Bloomberg that the company sees “a slight pullback in overall basket.” 

    “Just less units, slightly less calories,” he said.

    Ticker Security Last Change Change %
    WMT WALMART INC. 169.28 +0.71 +0.42%

    PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta told analysts on a call in October that there are a lot of question marks when it comes to how obesity drugs will affect consumer choices, though he noted the impact on the brand has been inconsequential to date.

    “Obviously, we’re looking at this, along with many other positive and negative potential risks for our business and our category,” Laguarta said. “So far, the impact is negligible in our business.”  

    Along with soda and Gatorade, PepsiCo has a large snack portfolio with brands such as Doritos. 

    Doritos PepsiCo

    PepsiCo Doritos chips for sale at a Dollar General department store in Simpsonville, Kentucky, on Aug. 12, 2021. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

    Executives whose companies have portfolios that include snack foods are likely to keep close tabs on the sector. Demand for Novo’s drugs is on the rise and even though the company is increasing its capacity to make more Wegovy, it previously warned that overall demand continues to exceed supply.

    ELON MUSK JUMPS ON NEW WEIGHT-LOSS TREND: DIABETIC MEDICATIONS

    Wegovy

    Packets of Wegovy move along a conveyor at the Novo Nordisk A/S production facilities in Hillerod, Denmark, on June 12, 2023. (Carsten Snejbjerg/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

    Medical professionals have warned patients that GLP-1 drugs, which also include Eli Lilly’s Zepbound and Mounjaro, should be taken in addition to diet and exercise.

    Ticker Security Last Change Change %
    LLY ELI LILLY & CO. 757.01 +0.31 +0.04%

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    Meanwhile, there has been a growing number of companies seeking to capitalize on the drug by creating programs to help patients manage a lifestyle centered around the drugs, including their diet.



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