Weight-loss industry set to boom
LOOKING for investments with a big return this year?
Well, the word on the trading floor is the weight-loss industry will grow faster than apartment and townhouse development, based on the latest analysis of Australian business.
Market researcher IBISWorld has released its annual Top 10 list of Australian growth industries for 2010, offering a probing insight into current social trends.
Weight loss, alternative health, and organic farming industries all featured strongly, indicating a growing interest in our personal wellbeing, although our best intentions could be brought to naught with sugar manufacturing blitzing the list with a growth of 15.9 per cent predicted.
While global markets predominantly determine sugar manufacturing’s fortunes, domestic consumption may still be weighing heavily on our collective conscience.
With health insurance logging in at a hefty number six on the list, perhaps we’re not trusting our lifestyle choices. One could be forgiven for thinking we’re hedging our bariatric bets.
Jenny Craig’s national managing director Amy Smith wasn’t surprised her industry made it into this year’s top 10 as Australia comes to terms with its obesity problem.
She said business was booming across all their Northern Rivers centres, although conceding it was bolstered by the annual influx of New Year resolutionists putting their money where their mouths are (or were).
Nonetheless, more and more people are turning up to the centres.
“It’s been a massive surge. I think we have 40pc more clients this January than last January,” she said.
“People know the basics of what to do to keep the weight off, they just don’t know how. I call it the knowing/doing gap.
“They’re no longer afraid to get help. We’re seeing people moving away from self-reliance. It’s a positive thing to seek help.”
So as the girths shrink at the company’s centres Australia-wide, the ledgers are bulging as double-digit growth is recorded across the organisation, indicating a big future for Jenny Craig.
In other forecasts Federal Government spending on homes and schools will see a continued boom in the insulation and institutional construction industries – although contractions are predicted for 2011 as subsidies end – while the online shopping industry continues up the chart.
IBISWorld attributes this to time-poor bargain hunters taking advantage of improvements in online store usability and security.
Baby products scrape in at number 10, based on the number of cashed-up first-time parents in their 30s and 40s.
Alternatively, image processors, video hire outlets, travel agents and wired telcos were the obvious biggest losers in our digital utopia, occupying four of the ‘bottom five’ spots at the other end of the growth spectrum, leaving apartment and townhouse construction floundering in unusual company until credit streams to developers improve.