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Naturhouse – Success in French Diet Market

Rarely do we obtain good information about weight loss competitors in other countries. Naturhouse is one example. Their original concept was born in Spain where it boomed in 2000. It was introduced in France back in 2006. Since then it became the #1 Diet system in the country. Today there are 400 weight loss centers (franchising…80 new centers per year since 2010) and the firm has hired 500+ dietitians. The business claims to generate $90 million per year, from zero 7 years ago. In Europe the company has nearly 1,800 centers operating as franchises.

Since 2006, this company has competed with Weight Watchers, The Dukan Diet, and most recently, Jenny Craig (where Jenny never gained traction and pulled out of the market). Management claims that in southern Europe, a diet company cannot be successful by selling pre-packaged diet food.

Unlike the U.S. market, Naturhouse does not have any internet programs and uses it minimally for marketing. Rather, they have a face to face, one to one approach that proves successful in France.

What we in the U.S. call a “counselor”, “coach”, or “consultant” is for them a Dietitian with an official diploma from the government (2 years of study). All the weight loss centers include a permanent RD. They offer a free diet service (1 visit/week) and sell diet supplements that help customer lose weight on a regular basis.

Management claims that the key points that make them a success are:

1. Technical expertise of their teams / in depth training programs/ technical control of the centers.
2. A mutual commitment with the client to reach their objective, and ability to “stop” anytime…on both sides.
3. Quality of the diet supplements.

Fully 83% of their customers come via “word of mouth”, saving a lot on marketing. The company also focuses on long term success: no lies, focus on real long term results (weight loss). Regarding new apps, management believes that the “human” interface still can do more than the digital one.

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