WALMART’s CEO said weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy are causing customers to buy less food.
The appetite-stimulating drugs, which are primarily used to treat diabetes and lose weight, are enjoying increasing popularity this year.
“We’re definitely seeing a slight change compared to the overall population, we’re seeing a slight decline in the overall basket,” John Furner, Walmart’s CEO of U.S. operations, said in an interview Wednesday Yahoo Finance.
“Just fewer units, slightly fewer calories.”
According to Yahoo Finance, Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart has been studying changes in its sales patterns.
The company is able to monitor purchasing changes from people who take medications like Ozempic and Wegovy – and compare those purchasing habits to those of people who don’t take these medications.
Furner told the outlet that it is still too early in their research process to make definitive statements about the drugs and other similar drugs.
Walmart is one of the companies that sells Ozempic, Wegovy and similar drugs through its pharmacy.
A report in August suggested that the drugs – which belong to the GLP-1 drug category – gave the company a boost in sales.
“We still expect food, consumer staples and health and wellness to grow on a percentage basis in the back half, primarily due to the popularity of some GLP-1 drugs,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a conference call August.
But Furner is not the only company boss to comment on the medication.
Steve Cahillane, CEO of Kellanova – the maker of Pringles and Cheez-Its – said the company is tracking the drugs’ potential impact on what shoppers buy and their eating habits.
“Like anything that potentially impacts our business, we will look at it, investigate it and take remedial action if necessary,” Cahillane said, according to Yahoo Finance.