AB Foods 'Not Worried' About Food Demand Impact Of New Weight-Loss Drugs

By Reuters
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AB Foods 'Not Worried' About Food Demand Impact Of New Weight-Loss Drugs

Associated British Foods one of the world's biggest producers of bread, cereals and hot drinks, is not concerned about the impact on demand from new appetite-suppressing, anti-obesity drugs, its boss said.

Walmart said last month it was seeing a slight pullback in US food consumption when people took weight-loss drugs like Novo Nordisk's Wegovy, sparking a sell off in the shares of some food makers.

AB Foods owns grocery brands with leading positions in markets across the globe. These include Kingsmill bread, Jordans cereals, Twinings tea and Ovaltine drinks. It also owns major sugar, ingredients and agriculture businesses.

'Not Worried About Volumes'

"We're not worried about volumes at all," AB Foods CEO George Weston told Reuters in an interview.

"We are not a business that thrives by selling more food, we try to premiumise, we try to trade people up, we try to offer better food than people might have eaten before," he said.


Weston also noted the population in most of its markets was fairly static and that a strategy of trying to sell increased volume would be hard to pull off.

"Trading on trying to increase calories you sell, I think that hasn't been a good strategy for a long time," he said.

Last week, Sainsbury's, Britain's second biggest supermarket group, said it was too early to assess the impact on food demand of the new drugs but it was watching the issue 'very carefully'.

Associated British Foods has forecast 'meaningful progress' in its new financial year, driven by a strong recovery in the margin of its Primark fashion business thanks to lower material and freight costs, and a big improvement in its sugar business.

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