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5 January 2006

Sales of Bathroom Scales Plunge

As Consumers Embrace Technology With Their Feet!

New research has demonstrated that the Great British public is shying away from stepping onto standard bathroom scales.  A report, the first of it’s kind to look at sales trends within this market in the UK, has highlighted that sales of bathroom scales have fallen by a staggering 42% over the last five years.

The independent report, called ‘Tip The Scales’ published this week, was compiled by marketing consultancy Through the Loop, using government statistics and market data from experts such as Mintel and GfK. 

Market Analyst, Martin Payne from Through the Loop explains:

“We were astounded to see such a marked downturn in sales of bathroom scales; this year (2005) by approximately 12% and a forecast around the same for next year (2006).  However, while consumers are rejecting standard scales, they are turning toward more sophisticated measures such as body fat and body composition monitors.  This sector has grown beyond all expectations -  around 180% for the last five years, an amazing 25% this last year alone (2005) and is forecast to continue to grow further next year (2006).  Users are becoming more educated and are clearly ‘trading up’ with their purchasing decisions.  We found that over 56% of purchasing takes place between December and March, so it is clearly both gift purchasing and New Year resolutions that are driving these sales.”

The shift has been fuelled by several factors; primarily the recognition of BIA (bio electrical impedance analysis) among health care professionals who recognise the limitations of BMI especially for individual treatment and the rise of a category Through the Loop identifies as the ‘Expert Patient’.  Slimmers, Fitness Fanatics and the Health Concerned make up the other markets but a clear favourite for the future is the family as childhood obesity is considered a real threat to long-term health.  The 2012 Olympics is also identified as a market driver and pivotal in encouraging an increased focus on the nation’s fitness.

The market report was commissioned by Tanita, the leading body composition monitoring experts.  Tanita created the body fat monitor market with the launch of the world’s first stand-on model in 1992 specifically designed to help healthcare professionals within the healthcare market.  This technology was then introduced into home-use models.

Notes to Editors:

  • Leading obesity expert, Dr Ian Campbell, says that obesity has grown by around 20% in the last five years.
  • Mintel notes that sales of self diagnostic health products has grown by 40% in the last five years (since 2005)
  • Gfk notes that the electrical well-being category grew 56% in the year ending Feb 05
  • GfK market date shows that in 2005 Tanita remains the UK market leader with over 25% of total volume sales of the total body fat market
  • Mintel notes that  ownership of bathroom scales has fallen to below 50% of households


For further information, please contact: Through the Loop Consulting Ltd. Tel: 01628 898542, fax: 01628 474836, e-mail: 

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