At present, the U. S. market is dominated by several major companies marketing weight loss products, such as NutriSystem, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. All of these companies sell pre-packaged diet food and offer additional services, such as weigh loss advice and counseling. NutriSystem specializes in comprehensive monthly food packages with a 28-day supply of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts. Its primary markets are the United States and Canada.
A peculiar feature of NutriSystem is that the company does not distribute its products to the retail network but relies on direct sales instead: it sells its products through the Internet, telephone, and QVC, a television shopping network (Yahoo! Finance 2010). Jenny Craig mainly operates in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico and offers a range of entrees and snacks together with support in counseling at Jenny Craig Centers, over the phone, and online (Jenny Craig 2010).
In 2006, it was acquired by Nestle, the largest food and drink company in the world. It also sells most of its product through direct sales. Weight Watchers is a global company that markets a wide variety of foods and snacks as well as online tools for weight loss. Its best known innovation is the point system: every food is assigned value in points, based on its calories, fat and fiber, which helps people to keep track of how what they eat (Weight Watcher 2010). Weight Watchers sells its products though a variety of channels, including retail.
However, it is necessary to keep in mind that the segment in which all of the aforementioned companies compete is food and beverage market, the second largest segment of the market for weigh loss products which is projected to overtake the devices, accessories and services segment, the largest at present, by 2014 (MarketsandMarkets 2009). Lifewave belongs to the devices, accessories and services segment; here its direct competitors are Dermathol, Hoodia, Bell Lifestyle Products, The Pink Patch and a number of smaller companies.
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