America’s weight loss industry has topped the 70 Billion Dollar revenue mark in 2013, and is only growing. Even during the recession, sales for both products and programs were growing. As America continues to be more conscious of its increasing waistline and the associated health risks, wellness and weight loss become more and more in demand.
The US weight loss services industry has historically been dominated by a few major players such as Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, but new upstarts are favored by consumers, who are always seeking a new solution to fit their needs. Consumer research shows the typical customers will try 6-10 diet or weight loss programs in their lifetime. The approach to slimming down is cumulative rather than exclusive, meaning that customers will seek a combination of solutions to fit their needs (ie. A program from company 1, a supplement from company 2, diet food from company 3). The general thinking from consumers is “more is better” when it comes to peeling off the pounds, a mindset which has proven to be quite lucrative for entrepreneurs in the diet industry.
Weight loss franchises help customers slim down to improve their physical and emotional health. Typically the business model will fall into one of 2 categories: food based or service based. Food based franchises generate their revenue from the ongoing sale of prepackaged meals (Jenny Craig is a good example of this), while service based franchises (LA WeightLoss was a good example of this) generate their revenue from the sale of packages and product add-ons.
Many of the best known weight loss brands such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, and LA WeightLoss are no longer offering franchises. They had franchises as a method of growth in their early years, and then repurchased the units once the companies went public. This “early stage investment” strategy proved to be a lucrative exit strategy for many of the franchisees, and is the nature of the high revenue, high margin business.
We’ve combed our database to seek out the most promising new diet franchises. In Canada, TrueStar health provides a model for both a home-based business as well as a storefront model. They do not currently franchise in the United States, but have enjoyed near-explosive growth in Canada. In the United States, many of the franchise opportunities are medical based, and might require special medical licenses to operate. There are also a wide variety of multi-level (network marketing) opportunities for the sale of products and supplements. Herbalife has been hugely popular in both the United States and Latin America, and offers an easy start-up home based opportunity. Amway (Nutrilife) is another home-based multi-level marketing company which is gaining popularity, mainly because of America’s intense attraction to weight loss products and diet pills.
Weight loss franchises are needed more in this country than ever before. As obesity issues have grown, Americans are starting to become increasingly committed to slimming down. They are using every kind of program to shed a few pounds, but insurers are increasing directing their attention to “accredited programs” – which will be provided only be the larger national chains who have the budget to do so. The recent ruling by the AMA (American Medical Association) to classify obesity as a disease has created a potential new windfall of business for the diet industry.
Owning a storefront weight loss business is not only doing good for your household, but also for the health of the community. There are benefits beyond simply the profits which an owner can enjoy. There are many reputable weight loss doctors and companies within the field. While combing through the best of the best, we discovered many regional operators, but very few national franchise opportunities for (non-medical) weight loss franchise storefronts. One up-and-coming brands which did catch our eye was The BalanceDiet Company (“BalanceD Diet” is spelled as one word “BalanceDiet)
For over 20 years, BalanceDiet helped clients meet their goals with its proven diet programs, exclusive product lines, and innovative client options such as their proprietary genetic test for weight loss. BalanceDiet (“The BalanceDiet Company”) began in 1980 in Naples, Florida as Results Weight Loss. Known for personalized consulting and highly-effective weight loss plans, the company continued to grow throughout Florida, and was re-branded in 2010 to reflect a balanced approach to food, eating, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. BalanceDiet brands itself as a “Celebration of food and healthy lifestyles” and maintains affiliations with wellness and fitness experts, promoting a total healthy lifestyle, a distinction from other providers.
BalanceDiet has locations throughout the US, internationally, as well as a popular “BalanceDiet at Home” home-based coaching program (coaching delivered via phone, test, or webcam) as well as product delivery direct to a client’s door. All of their plans and product bundles include personalized consulting, and client results are guaranteed with any of their programs.
An important part of the support clients receive is their suite of online wellness tools, including an online diet program, a nutrition and exercise tracker that keeps you motivated whether you want to lose weight or simply eat healthier. Although we have seen and reviewed many online tools, these seemed integrated, easy to use, and in-line with the roadmapped plan that clients were receiving.
By becoming a client of BalanceDiet, clients receive 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 meal plans and a roadmap for success, and offers as an optional part of the program a proprietary genetic test for weight loss. The simple test (which can be administered at home or at center) will let a client understand, based on their own genetics, whether they are a fat trimmer, carb-reducer, or a “better balancer.” BalanceDiet follows the genetic test results with a completely customized food plan for optimal success, and reports that clients who use the genetic-based weight management protocol can lose up to 2.5 times more weight, and more successfully maintain their new body.
Dieting typically involves a reversal of the process that led to weight gain in the first place by improving diet and increasing exercise. Weight loss franchises and centers generally have a structured, proven program to achieve this. Although the programs and approaches vary by brand, its always a wise idea to evaluate an opportunity from the client’s point of view. Are they able to show client success? Does the business generate strong referrals?
Quick weight loss franchises may offer a boot camp where they provide customers with healthy meals and sports opportunities. However, when these solutions are insufficient, structured weight loss franchises can step in to get them to a healthy weight more quickly. Diet centers can help their clients get to an ideal goal weight, without the use of prescription drugs, surgery, and restrictive dietary guidelines.
Overall, the weight loss industry is designed to help customers improve their lifestyles. This is an ideal time to become a part of this booming industry.