MEF Exclusive:The Business of Losing Weight

    Weight loss and weight management diet is defined as a diet that is consumed to lose weight, maintain body shape and avoid weight gain. The weight loss and weight management diet market is expected to garner USD422.8 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 9.1% during the forecast period of 2015‐2020, according to a report by Allied Market Research. Consumers in the MENA region are embracing a more holistic viewpoint of health which required the weight loss industry to adapt to this changing lifestyle. Rima Selman, Executive Manager at Food Solutions Industries s.a.r.l. operating a diet center, La Salade Gourmet, in Kuwait and Lebanon, told MEF in a special interview that weight loss programs are highly demanded and healthy food trends are developing fast among different age groups.

    “There is a huge competition in the Lebanese market to this industry, especially that there are many stars that are well established here within”

    Today’s consumers’ preferences pivoting towards healthier food options. They understand a food’s nutritional value, as well as overall health risk. “The Lebanese people are really aware about healthy lifestyles and trends are developing fast among even young generations to demand healthy food. This could be driven by Lebanese awareness of good eating habits relation to proper body fitness and shape. Weight loss programs are booming in Lebanon, especially in the summer season; as for the MENA region not only the Weight loss programs are highly demanded but also other dieting programs, like Fitness and Body Building; noting that nowadays a visible demand is observed to Cross Fit dieting,” said Selman. Moreover, in the food industry, business owners have a great level of competition and a lot of details to perfect. Being a great chef and having strong catering experience is not enough to make a catering business succeed. Catering business owners need to handle the challenges of making big decisions too. “There is a huge competition in the Lebanese market to this industry, especially that there are many stars that are well established here within. Yet, La Salade Gourmet with its well-founded history and expertise in Kuwait, and with its specialization in sport nutrition, the center is developing fast in Lebanon as a professional caterer for all sport dieting programs. We believe in fair play. We work with standardized terms and operations trying to complement a missing service in the Lebanese markets aiming at customer satisfaction and belief in our services,” explained Selman. Diet centers also help provide customers with healthy, nutritious and tasty food as part of an improved lifestyle for weight reduction or maintenance program. “This could be insured by genuine, fresh ingredient and maintenance of compelling health and hygiene standards. We at La Salade Gourmet do not compromise freshness and cleanliness of our food while maintaining tasty home-made recipes for all our platters,” added Selman. Diet centers offer different weight management programs in order to help each customer find his right program. “Our services evolve on consultation and body assessments for our common dieters and athletes by professional licensed dietitians and sport nutritionists. Our programs evolve on Weight Loss, Fitness, Body Building and Cross Fit programs; in addition to special programs for children, youngsters, pregnant women, diabetes, gluten sensitivity and many others,” she said. Comparing the Lebanese and Kuwaiti franchise revenues, Selman said: “The business is promising in Lebanon.  We are still in the growth stage, aiming at reaching our potentials that are already secured in Kuwait.  In Lebanon, we are facing economic challenges and stiff competition with other players in various industries. But we believe in our services and things are improving hopefully.”

    Fatima Saab
    Editor & Researcher