New Year's resolutions contribute to increased spending on diet, anti-smoking aids

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. More than $100 million will be spent on New Year’s resolutions in January, according to a report issued by the Nielsen Co. on Tuesday. According to the company, U.S. consumers are expected to purchase more than $61 million in anti-smoking and smoking alternative products and more than $46 million in nutritional diet aids in January.

“As New Year’s Eve marks the end of the holiday party season, shoppers take their resolutions straight to the stores,” stated Todd Hale, senior vice president of consumer and shopping insights, Nielsen Consumer Panel Services.

“While supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers are packed with holiday shoppers in December, our data shows that there’s no rest for the retailers in January,” Hale said. “Manufacturers of anti-smoking products and nutritional diet aids should brace themselves for a banner month.”

Anti-smoking and smoking alternative products generated 8.7 percent of annual dollar sales in January last year, an above average share, while complete nutritional diet aids generated 9.9 percent of their annual dollar sales during the same period. In both product categories, January ranks No. 1 in annual dollar sales for the entire year, with sales of nutritional diet aids expected to jump more than 91 percent compared to the previous 4 week period.

The week of January 13 shows the highest dollar sales ranking for the month in both categories, suggesting that shoppers give themselves a few extra days before getting serious with their resolutions. 

However, those resolutions are short lived, as sales of both smoking cessation products and diet aids curtail sharply by the end of the month. Anti-smoking products declined steadily from more than $61 million in sales in January 2007 to $49 million in September 2007. And after a high at nearly $47 million in January 2007, sales of nutritional diet aids dropped more than 14 percent to $40 million in February 2007. 

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