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The weight loss industry is one of those industries which is intrinsically and accidentally linked with another main industry in the retail sector – the food and fast food industry. After all, if weight wasn’t a problem then there wouldn’t be a need for the weight loss industry at all, and we wouldn’t find ourselves constantly being sent promotions and vouchers, and being shown pop up ads for new weight loss products, services and advice clinics to trial all over our social media accounts.
The fact is, with the constant increase in great foods, new restaurants and technology advances which mean we simply don’t have to get up and do as much as we used to, the percentage of the population which is considered overweight is on the rise. We see it in the papers on a regular basis, with world leaders now discussing the war on weight regularly; stores ceasing to promote snack foods and desserts to those queueing up to pay for their items; even sweet foods being replaced by healthier alternatives made from plants and natural ingredients rather than processed sugars.
You would think, with this growing trend, that diet products and the industry as a whole would be steadily on the rise as well, right? In fact, much of the success of the weight loss industry has instead been born from an ability to adapt to the ever changing landscape of media messages – the most recent being a shift in customer perception, moving away from diets and instead encompassing a healthy lifestyle as part of something more long term than a diet.
And so, the industry around weight loss has changed – covering up the explicit messaging around losing weight and getting thinner, and instead focussing on more positive messaging which embodies the power of a healthy and active lifestyle.
The weight loss industry is actually one which is much wider than you might think, operating across several different retail areas and influencing not only the health and beauty industry with supplements and weight loss pills, but also the food industry with the provision and growth of low fat food and diet drinks, the fitness industry with weight loss programs created by different brands and retailers, the entertainment industry with celebrities and experts producing and releasing weight loss DVD’s and guides, and even the medical industry through the expertise of obesity specialists and doctors.
As you can see, the weight loss industry is huge – and operating successful within it means joining a very closely united group of different sectors which all rely on each other to keep the circle moving and to ensure weight loss as a sector is popular and effective, there is enough unhealthy alternative to ensure that the sector remains necessary. Because the reality is, if the weight loss industry was so successful that it changed the mindset of consumers for good, fairly soon there would be no more call for those weight loss pills and fitness DVD’s as there would be no more problem to fix.
The majority of key retailers in the weight loss industry are those which stock and sell specific weight loss brands, making up a small part of their otherwise extensive selection of health and beauty products and other offerings. Some of the most prominent include:
Aside from these big players in the retail industry who stock weight loss brands and products as a small part of their overall offering, the ecommerce world is also flooded with brands which are all vying for attention through the use of targeted marketing and social media, including retailers such as My Protein and Protein World – the latter of which is inordinately successful in the weight loss and supplement market but was recently under fire by the media for using what the media terms “body shaming ads” in order to make women in particular feel like they need to use the weight loss products being marketed in order to fit into a very specific body image type.
And it is through this example that become aware of where the controversy in the weight loss industry comes from, and why, for large retailers, it is such a risky sector to market and become a part of.
We live in a world now where every body type is regarded and recognised as beautiful – and there is no longer a push from celebrity culture, the media or online shaming for women (and men) to look a certain way in order to be deemed attractive. Of course, this is not necessarily true, with daily examples being found all over the internet of individuals being forced to defend their appearance as either too big or too small. It all comes down the modern world focus on appearance and perfection.
What is important here and in the weight loss industry, however, and what continues to help this sector grow, is in the way it responds to criticism and alters its messaging to keep up with the latest trends and the ways in which weight loss as a concept is being tackled.
The response and shift of the weight loss sector to the way in which the world views weight and image is something which becomes even more obvious when you list the key brands in the sector.
When you look at this list, you will notice how some of the brands listed are traditional weight loss brands which largely stock diet foods with reduced calories and lower sugar contents, supplementary shakes and drinks, pills and plenty of tips for how to stay on track. Moving past those more traditional and old school solutions we come to the Herbalife, Joe Wicks and Yoga Meltdown brands – all showcasing the shift within the industry towards lifestyle changes and healthy habits rather than short term diet solutions. In fact, Yoga Meltdown by Jillian Michaels is officially noted as the world’s best selling weight loss DVD – and it is all about factoring yoga and regular movement into your daily routine.
Other examples of weight loss industry leaders who are making waves in the movement and healthy eating sector rather than in the diet sector include Insanity Workouts, Jordan’s, Strong Roots and NOMI. And as well as those, it is also worth noting that gym memberships are also part and parcel of the weight loss industry, fitting neatly in with fitness, wellness, health and weight loss.
We have already looked at how the tone of weight loss marketing has had to shift in recent years with the shift in the way that different body types and body shapes are perceived. With that said, how do brands and retailers share their messages and get their products and services under the eyes of their target audience, and how do they ensure that customers keep coming back for more?
One of the key drivers in the weight loss industry comes from a very community led focus. If you listen to any weight loss service advert or commercial, you will likely notice how they place heavy focus on the idea of their service being a community or a family – instantly promising you the support of others upon entering the weight loss journey. These companies and services, examples including Slimming World and Weight Watchers, also promote their own brand of diet food and drink products and also feature dietary supplements, giving them an industry wide dominance in the sector and allowing them to cross promote their various services across the industry using vouchers, deals and discounts for those who engage with them on a number of different platforms.
Another marketing focus for the weight loss industry is visual – though of course brands have to be extremely careful of the kinds of images they use for promotion, and what the messaging behind the images shows. Some of the best and most popular examples tend to focus on groups of individuals who are all happy and who all have different body shapes, with messaging focussing on your inner health and happiness rather than on a comparison between the largest and the smallest individual within a group of friends.
The other thing that more and more brands are doing is expanding their customer interaction through the use of social platforms and dedicated apps, giving their customers and service users more of a support focus than has ever been available in the sector before. A great example of this is Weight Watchers, who now offer their users an app with built-in vouchers and codes, and which allows them to track the calories they take in and the activity they engage in on a daily basis in order to monitor and track their overall progress. Likewise, users are also encouraged to join social media groups to interact with other likeminded individuals and are given various opportunities to become part of smaller and more targeted groups who have similar goals, similar challenges, or simply similar starting points.
And then we have celebrity culture – something which influences the weight loss industry hugely despite celebrities and influencers no longer readily being a part of the active marketing of weight loss products. That is, apart from a few recent examples including the Kardashian’s who received huge backlash for promoting diet pills and offering a discount code to any of their followers who pushed forwards with a purchase. Yet still, even without direct marketing, the weight loss industry benefits from the use of celebrity figures in its campaigns by turning global superstars into the inspirations behind various weight loss goals.
Celebrities do play a part in one particular sector of the weight loss industry however – the fitness DVD market. Did you know that celebrity weight loss DVD’s are as popular if not more popular than DVD’s and guides produced by experts, largely because they feature individuals that we believe we can relate to and who are proud to show off their “weight loss achievements” with tons of before and after images. Many of these are released by the industry just in time for Spring and Summer, using the impending beach and bikini season as an integral part of their marketing campaign in order to drive potential customers to buy and sign up.
The top products in the weight loss sector span across a wide variety of different retail sectors and service sectors – and the main thing to note is that not all of them are intensely related to weight loss in the way you might expect. Likewise, not all of them are explicitly focused on diet and weight loss, with some using fitness and increased activity, or healthy living as the main focus of their position in the weight loss industry.
To help guide you towards the products and brands which you might benefit from within the weight loss industry and which may prove the most useful to you, the following list includes just some of the most popular items considered a part of the weight loss sector:
The future of the weight loss industry is so intrinsically linked with other sectors and industries that it is unlikely to cease growing – with some of the most popular vouchers on offer including one or more of these products and services as we all look to bring a little more health and wellness into our own lives – whether it be through nutrition, activity or diet pills.
Head to the Weight Loss page of our site to find out which brands and products are available under our variety of available vouchers and deals.
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