We just learned about three small medical weight loss chains that we never knew about before, corroborating a trend that we at Marketdata have noted for several years now. That is, medical weight loss chains continue to flourish across the country and grow, either by organic growth, franchising or licensing. This is one of the growth segments of the weight loss market, and we expect it to continue, as more MDs get involved in weight loss services to supplement their practice income or replace income lost via Medicare and Medicaid cuts, less visits by consumers since the recession, pressure from HMOs. etc.
Have you ever heard of these?
Nuviva Medical Weight Loss (franchise - 12 locations in FL)
Thinique Medical Weight Loss Clinics (franchise - 16 sites in TX, AZ, UT, NV)
Let's Lose Advanced Weight Loss (franchise - 11 sites in AL, FL, TX).
Here's a brief profile of Nuvivia, based on what we found on their website and published articles... This Fort Myers, FL-based firm caters mostly to clients that pay out of pocket. For $150 for an initial consult and then $100 per week, clients get one-on-one counseling with the clinic's MD and follow-up help from nurses and nutritionists. CEO Alex Joseph believes that when clients have to pay themselves, they are more motivated to lose weight.
This company had its roots in 2006, when clients were eager to pay for hormone therapy. The founders were selling real estate, until the recession hit. The duo opened two clinics in Fort Myers and Naples, in 2008. The program was based on nutrition, off-label medication, and counseling. Each office was then grossing $90,000/month (more than $1 million/year). Investors soon recognized that the program got results and was different, so they backed the partners' expansion via franchising. Neither founder was a physician, and they keep it that way today, since most MDs are not good businessmen. It costs between $160,000 and $230,000 to open a clinic, including a $75,000 franchise fee. If each clinic still does $1 million/year in 2014, this is a $12 million operation, and growing. (see: www.nuvivaweightloss.com)