America’s weight loss industry surpassed $70 billion in sales in 2013 and continues to grow. Even during the recession, sales grew for both products and programs. As America becomes more conscious of its expanding waistline and the health risks that come with it, wellness and weight loss are becoming increasingly popular.
The US weight loss services industry has historically been dominated by a few big players like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, but newcomers are favored by consumers who are always looking for a new solution to meet their needs. Consumer research shows that the typical customer will try 6-10 diet or weight loss programs in their lifetime. The approach to weight loss is cumulative rather than exclusive, meaning clients seek a combination of solutions that meet their needs (e.g., a program from Company 1, a dietary supplement from Company 2, diet foods from Company 3). The general mindset among consumers is “more is better” when it comes to shedding pounds, a mindset that has proven to be quite lucrative for entrepreneurs in the dieting industry.
Weight loss franchises help clients lose weight to improve their physical and emotional health. Typically, the business model falls into one of 2 categories: food-based or service-based. Food-based franchises derive their revenue from the ongoing sale of ready meals (Jenny Craig is a good example), while service-based franchises (LA WeightLoss was a good example) derive their revenue from the sale of packaging and product additives. ons.
Many of the best known weight loss brands such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem and LA WeightLoss no longer offer franchises. They had franchises as a growth method in their early years and then bought back the units when the companies went public. This “early-stage investment strategy” has proven to be a lucrative exit strategy for many franchisees and is the nature of the high-revenue, high-margin business.
We combed our database to find the most promising new diet franchises. In Canada, TrueStar Health offers both a home business and a storefront model. They don’t currently operate a franchise in the United States, but have seen near-explosive growth in Canada. In the United States, many of the franchise opportunities are medically based and may require special medical licenses to operate. There are also a variety of multi-level (network marketing) avenues for selling products and dietary supplements. Very popular in both the United States and Latin America, Herbalife offers an easy way to get started at home. Amway (Nutrilife) is another home based multi-level marketing company that is gaining popularity largely because of America’s strong attraction to weight loss products and diet pills.
Weight loss franchises are needed in this country more than ever. As obesity problems have increased, Americans are beginning to focus more on losing weight. They use any type of program to shed a few pounds, but insurers are increasingly turning their attention to “accredited programs” – only offered by the larger national chains that have the budget to do so. The recent decision by the AMA (American Medical Association) to classify obesity as a disease has created a potential new windfall for the diet industry.
Owning an in-store weight loss business is not only good for your household but also for the health of the community. There are benefits beyond the pure profits that an owner can enjoy. There are many reputable weight loss doctors and companies in this field. As we combed through the best of the best, we discovered many regional operators but very few national franchise opportunities for (non-medical) weight loss franchises. One emerging brand that caught our eye was The BalanceDiet Company (“BalanceD Diet” is spelled as one word “BalanceDiet”).
For over 20 years, BalanceDiet has been helping clients achieve their goals with its proven diet programs, exclusive product lines, and innovative consumer options like their proprietary genetic weight loss test. BalanceDiet (“The BalanceDiet Company”) began in Naples, Florida in 1980 as Results Weight Loss. Known for personalized advice and highly effective weight loss plans, the company continued to grow across Florida and was rebranded in 2010 to reflect a balanced approach to food, nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. BalanceDiet markets itself as a “celebration of nutrition and healthy living” and partners with wellness and fitness professionals who promote an all-around healthy lifestyle and differentiate themselves from other providers.
BalanceDiet has offices in the US and internationally, and a popular “BalanceDiet at Home” in-home coaching program (coaching by phone, test, or webcam) and product delivery right to a customer’s door. All of their plans and product packages come with personalized advice, and client results are guaranteed with each of their programs.
A key part of the support customers receive is their suite of online wellness tools, including an online diet program, nutrition and exercise tracker to keep you motivated whether you’re looking to lose weight or simply eat healthier. Although we saw and reviewed many online tools, they seemed integrated, easy to use, and consistent with the roadmap plan that clients were given.
As a BalanceDiet customer, customers get access to their online tools such as diet and exercise logs, meal planners, health logs and progress reports, as well as discounts on weight loss products and supplements. BalanceDiet offers structured nutrition plans and a roadmap to success, and offers proprietary weight loss genetic testing as an optional part of the program. The simple test (which can be performed at home or at the center) lets a client understand whether they are a fat trimmer, carb reducer or a “better balancer” based on their own genetics. BalanceDiet follows the genetic testing results with a fully customized nutrition plan for optimal success and reports that customers who use the genetic-based weight management protocol lose up to 2.5 times more weight and are more successful in maintaining their new body.
Dieting typically involves reversing the process that originally led to weight gain by improving nutrition and increasing exercise. Weight loss franchises and centers generally have a structured, proven program to achieve this. While programs and approaches vary by brand, it’s always a good idea to evaluate an opportunity from the client’s perspective. Can they demonstrate customer success? Does the company generate strong recommendations?
Fast weight loss franchises may offer a boot camp where they offer their customers healthy meals and exercise options. However, when these solutions aren’t enough, structured weight loss franchises can step in to get you to a healthy weight faster. Diet centers can help their clients reach an ideal goal weight without the use of prescription drugs, surgery, and restrictive dietary guidelines.
Overall, the weight loss industry is designed to help clients improve their lifestyle. This is an ideal time to become part of this booming industry.
Thanks to Tara Reid Miller