US Insights

Top Meal Replacement Brands on Amazon, Google, and TV

Jim Leichenko

Director of Marketing, AdGooroo

Digital 01.22.2019 / 09:00


Kantar Media examined advertising activity for meal replacement shakes on Amazon, Google and television.

With each new year comes countless resolutions to lose weight and get in shape. One of the popular ways today’s consumers are tackling this goal is meal replacement shakes, which are sold as powder mixes and ready-to-serve drinks that are often relatively low in calories and chocked full of protein, vitamins and minerals.  To gauge advertising for meal replacement shakes in the first two weeks of 2019, Kantar Media examined advertising activity on Amazon, Google and television.

RSP, Garden of Eden Top Amazon

Kantar Media analyzed the most visible brands appearing in search results for the keyword ‘meal replacement shakes’ from January 1 through the 14th, ranking the top 10 brands based on factors including the percentage of time each brand was found in the top 3 positions on the first search results page, the brand’s average page position and the number of the brand’s listings found.

Meal Replacement Shakes Top Brands On Amazon _Kantar Media

RSP Nutrition and Garden of Life were the top two brands on Amazon by far, appearing in the first three positions on the search results page a respective 46% and 32% of the time when the keyword ‘meal replacement shakes’ was searched. SlimFast, one of the best known meal replacement shake brands in U.S. thanks to decades of television commercials, was a distant third in visibility on Amazon, appearing in the first three positions on the search results page 3% of the time.

Notably, RSP Nutrition and Garden of Life both had a high number of sponsored listings during the first two weeks of the year, in addition to a high number of organic listings, likely accounting for the frequency with which we found them in the top three page positions, since sponsored listings are most often found among the first page positions. On the other end of the spectrum, we did not find sponsored listings for either, IdealShape, one of the top brands on Google (see below), or GNC, who made the top 10 ranking based on their organic presence on Amazon. Likewise, Soylent, Fitmiss and Orgain, all had fewer than 5 sponsored listings and 40 plus organic listings during the period.

IdealShape,, Ensure Lead Google

For Google, we ranked the top 10 advertisers on product listing ads and traditional text ads across both desktop and mobile search, based on each advertiser’s share of total clicks on the keyword ‘meal replacement shakes’, January 1-14.

Meal Replacement Shakes Top Paid Search Advertisers On Google _Kantar Media

Meal replacement brand IdealShape had a very strong all-around performance in Google search in the first two weeks of the new year. Within product listing ads, IdealShape topped the ranking for both desktop and mobile, garnering 11.5% of all PLA desktop clicks and 27.2% of all PLA mobile clicks. IdealShape also had a very strong performance in mobile text ads, gaining an 18.9% click share, while ranking fifth in desktop text ads with a 9.4% click share.

However, within traditional text ads, dominated the field, collecting 42.4% of all desktop clicks and 16.4% of mobile clicks (enough to rank third in mobile), likely based on the fact that its name and web address match the keyword being searched, ‘meal replacement shakes’.

Abbott Laboratories’ Ensure, one of the leading meal replacement shake brands by market share, was number one in mobile text ads, gaining a 20.2% click share. The other leading brand by market share, Herbalife, did not fare as well, ranking sixth in desktop text ads and eighth in mobile text ads.

In addition to meal replacement shake brands, retailers were also prominent in Google search. Walmart ranked second in desktop PLA, with a 9% click share, followed closely by GNC, both retailer and manufacturer, with an 8.9% click share. For mobile PLAs, Amazon and brand Isagenix tied for second place with a respective 8% click share, while Walgreens ranked third based on a 7% click share. Isagenix also ranked second in desktop text ads with a 15.6% click share.

Ensure, SlimFast Top Television Spenders

To assess TV advertising in the category, Kantar Media examined commercials for meal replacement shakes that aired on national and cable television from January 1 through January 14.

In total, we found four advertisers promoting meal replacement shakes on TV during the period. Protein was a recurring theme.

Kantar Media data show Ensure was the top spender, devoting $1.2 million to TV ads promoting its original formula and new Ensure Max brand, which offers 30 grams of protein to help consumers “reach [their] health goals”.

SlimFast, which has long-since replaced Tommy Lasorda with a bevy of joyful women and men celebrating their new svelte shape, ranked second with $1 million spent. SlimFast’s ads primarily promoted its smoothies’ quick weight loss benefits and ability to blended with the foods of your choice, also found time to mention it has 20 grams of protein.

Boost was third in TV ad spend, devoting $781,000 to commercials letting consumers know that it now offers 33% more protein, while Atkins dedicated $304,000 to spots featuring Rob Lowe assuring viewers that Atkins’ new chocolate shake with 30 grams of protein tastes great.

Source: Kantar Media

Editor's Notes

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