Exploding interest in GLP-1 drugs has surpassed major diets

Exploding interest in GLP-1 drugs has surpassed major diets
There are millions of consumer interest niches in the world. Each of us simultaneously inhabits a large number of them, dozens or more. Many are still not well served by e-commerce. That's why I'm building NicheMerch.
Just as fascinating as these niches are the formerly niche: a product or idea that goes from obscurity to practically everywhere.
We are living through an amazing example of the niche-to-mainstream onramp right now with GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy (generically known as "semaglutide").

Chart of Wikipedia pageviews for semaglutide showing massive growth in recent years

The semaglutide Wikipedia article went from less than 50 views per month in 2015 to 160k views/month by the end of 2023, a 3,500x increase. The article received 1.9 million views in 2023. On one day alone in 2021 it received almost 50,000 views.

These numbers are in fact small in comparison to the true scale of the market: one estimate puts the number of Americans already using GLP-1 drugs at 8-15 million. But focusing on Wikipedia data is helpful for two reasons:

First, article views are a meaningful and consistent measure of interest over time. It takes more than passing awareness for the average person to click into a detailed encyclopedia article.

Second, it allows us to compare interest in semaglutide with other weight-loss approaches. And that's where GLP-1's rise to the mainstream is made even more concrete.

Chart of Wikipedia pageviews for semaglutide in comparison to ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting, which are shrinking

Based on article page views:

  • Interest in GLP-1s like Ozempic and Wegovy is at latest (Dec 2023) almost 3x the interest in Intermittent Fasting, 5x greater than Keto and Mediterranean diets, and 72x Whole30
  • The only two diets that previously reached interest levels higher than semaglutide's current levels -- intermittent fasting and keto -- both enjoyed much greater interest at the start of our data in 2015 and are in long-term decline (see chart above).

Pageview growth for semaglutide appears to have stalled, but I would not count out even greater levels of interest as these treatments become more ingrained in our society and culture. These drugs may eventually command peak interest -- and adherence -- greater than any previous diet we've seen. 

That's a long way from niche.


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