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The New York Times, in a piece entitled "French Women Worry About Getting Fat, Too," looks at how the Jenny Craig is being adopted by Nestle in France.

The Times writes: "Selling an American-style weight-loss program to France would seem an absurd business proposition: from a French point of view, Americans might appear better equipped to give pointers on how to gain weight than how to lose it. The obesity rate in the United States is around 35 percent, compared with 14.5 percent in France. But the rate of increase in France has been worrying: in 1997, the obesity rate in France was only 8.5 percent. The government has initiated a series of antiobesity measures meant to restore traditional healthy eating habits (including last year a near ban on ketchup in school cafeterias)."

And so, "The French Jenny Craig box is smaller, its interior container more elegant. Instead of white foam, the packaging is brightly patterned, like a chic shopping bag. Inside, there are dishes like boeuf bourguignon and velouté de tomates. The meals seem more grown-up and sophisticated than the American versions, so many of which seem chosen to evoke childhood favorites."

Jenny Craig's approach in France, the story says, "is to try to persuade clients that the plan is not a departure from French culture but a return to its fundamental values. To sell this novelty to the French requires convincing them that they are in fact resisting rather than succumbing to the inexorable influence of American eating habits — that the American scourge of obesity can still be neutralized by the power of French tradition, even if that tradition comes in the form of vacuum-sealed, shelf-stabilized products."
KC's View:
Wouldn't it be interesting if someone in the US could subscribe to the French jenny Craig plan? I wonder how much interest there would be...