Companies in this industry provide nonmedical weight loss services and products that include counseling, food supplements, menu and exercise planning, and body measurement and weight monitoring. Major companies include Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and eDiets.com (all based in the US), as well as Dukan Diet (France), Nutrition & Diet Center (Saudi Arabia), and Rosemary Conley (UK).
The US weight reduction services industry includes about 3,200 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $3 billion. The industry doesn't include companies that provide medical or surgical weight reduction or companies that operate physical fitness facilities, health resorts, or spas. Fitness centers, health supplement stores, and spas are covered in separate industry profiles.
Consumers' excess weight, personal income, and leisure time drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing, customer acquisition and retention, and efficient operations. Large companies have advantages of scale in marketing, infrastructure, and partnerships, such as licensing deals for private-label products and foods. Small companies can compete effectively by offering individualized services or upscale facilities. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 80 percent of industry revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Program fees account for about 60 percent of industry revenue; sales of food and other products account for the rest. Products include DVDs, CDs, scales, journals and other record-keeping materials, cookbooks, and motivational and self-help guides.