The three biggest brands in weight loss, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Nurtisystem, are gearing up for diet season 2011 with new programs and ad campaigns. Although these companies struggled to recruit new customers during the economic downturn, they’re betting on winning customers back as financial conditions improve.
“A lot of people have traded down to junk food,” said market researcher John LaRosa, of Marketdata Enterprises. “The result of that is people are going to be heavier than ever before. And when they do come back to weight loss programs, they are going to end up staying longer than in past years.”
Nutrisystem is reaching out to the public with new ads that feature real users describing their successes with the popular meal-delivery service (see video below), a departure from their celebrity-driven advertising. “We let our consumers really tell our story,” says Chris Terrill, the company’s chief marketing officer. “It’s a bit different for us, and it’s in line with our research.”
On the other hand, Weight Watchers is sticking with their sassy celeb spokes woman, Jennifer Hudson. Jenny Craig is introducing a more personalized weight-loss program, called the Metabolic Max Program. The three companies earned an estimated $3.2 billion in revenue last year, according to Marketdata Enterprises.