Weight Loss and Alcohol

Tom Wark, in his excellent blog, Fermentation, says he expects drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro, originally developed to treat diabetes and now also being used for weight loss, will result in lower wine sales. He notes that Morgan Stanley's AlphaWise research unit found "people taking these drugs consumed 62% less alcohol, and more than one in five said they had stopped drinking booze altogether."

I can tell you from personal experience that Tom is right. No, I don't take Ozempic, Mounjaro or Wegovy. But just about a year ago, my doctor put me on a drug called ConTrave. It's not for treating diabetes. It's strictly for weight loss. and My doctor was concerned about fat accumulating around vital organs in my belly.

So what happened? I've lost about 11% of my weight in a year. I suspect I've plateaued. I also eat less because I usually feel nearly full. As far as I can it hasn't affected my enjoyment of food – or of alcohol. But I now drink anywhere from one-third to one-half the amount I did a year ago. Where I have really cut back is potato chips and similar snacks.

Wark says he doesn't know what the impact on bev/al sales will be. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, about 41% of U.S. population is obese, so if you assume that one-third of the obese population does not drink anyway, at the most your sales will go down 27%.

I think the number will be substantially less than 27% because (1) not all obese drinkers will be put on one of these drugs, and (2) not everyone who is on one of these drugs will take them on a regular basis.

Morgan Stanley thinks the new weight loss drugs will reduce your sales 1.8%. I think they are wrong. I think it will be much more than that. Do I have a number? No. What I do know, however, is the the threat to your sales from these drugs is much less than some of the measures being proposed by the anti-alcohol lobby led by the World Health Organization.