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The randomized, prospective, controlled clinical trial looked at weight loss among 1,267 participants randomized to attend Weight Watchers for a 12- or 52-week period, or to receive brief advice, alongside self-help materials and regular weigh-ins. The large independent study was conducted by research teams led by Dr. Amy Ahern at the University of Cambridge; Professor Jason Halford and Dr. Emma Boyland at the University of Liverpool; and Professor Susan Jebb and Professor Paul Aveyard at the University of Oxford. This trial was funded by a National Prevention Research Initiative grant and the cost of the Weight Watchers program and blood sampling and analysis were funded by Weight Watchers as part of an MRC Industrial Collaboration Award. At one year, participants assigned to 52 weeks of Weight Watchers lost, on average, more than twice as much weight as those in the brief intervention group. They were also more likely to lose 5% and 10% or more of their initial weight as compared to the brief intervention and 12-week Weight Watchers groups, which are weight loss milestones that are associated with significant health benefits. Additionally, compared to participants in the other groups, those in the year-long Weight Watchers program also had significantly greater reductions in fasting blood glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin, which are important markers of the future risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Study participants attended a final measurement appointment at 24 months, a full year after treatment had ended. Although there was weight regain among all groups, the group assigned to 52 weeks of Weight Watchers, as compared to the other two groups in the study, experienced superior weight losses and improvements in waist and fat mass that were sustained even two years down the line. The researchers also modelled the impact of the three programs over the next 25 years to predict cost effectiveness, among other factors. They found that the incremental cost effectiveness ratio for the 52-week program was cost effective compared to the brief intervention and the 12-week program. "These data replicate earlier and smaller studies proving that Weight Watchers provides clinically meaningful weight loss in a cost effective manner. This study of over 1,200 people is notable in that, as compared to the brief intervention or 12-week Weight Watchers groups, the superiority of the one year Weight Watchers program was still evident after two years," said Gary Foster, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Weight Watchers International, Inc. "These two-year data indicate that our liveable, scalable program can provide long-term sustainability." According to the CDC, as of 2014, more than one-third of U.S. adults have obesity. Additionally, the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who have obesity were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight1. For more information on Weight Watchers, please visit www.weightwatchers.com. About Weight Watchers International, Inc. Weight Watchers International, Inc. is one of the most recognized and trusted brand names among weight-conscious consumers. Weight Watchers provides commercial weight management services through a global network of Company-owned and franchise operations and offers innovative, digital weight management products through its websites, mobile sites and apps. These services and products are built on the Company's weight management program, which helps millions of people around the world lose weight through sensible and sustainable food plans, activity, behavior modification and group support. Weight Watchers has an unparalleled network of service providers to assist members on their journey and also offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and healthier living. Funding This trial was funded by the UK National Prevention Research Initiative (a collaboration of government departments, research councils and major medical charities). The cost of the Weight Watchers program and blood sampling and analysis were funded by Weight Watchers as part of an MRC Industrial Collaboration Award. Conflicts of Interest ALA, SAJ, EJB, BRM and JCGH have received research funding to their institutions from Weight Watchers International and have given and received hospitality from providers of commercial weight loss services on a small number of occasions. PA and SAJ have conducted another publicly funded trial in which part of the intervention was delivered by and donated free by Slimming World and Rosemary Conley, and they are principal investigators on a trial funded through a grant to the University of Oxford from Cambridge Weight Plan. JCGH is Principal Investigator on studies funded through research grants to the University of Liverpool from the California Prune Board, Ingredion and American Beverage Association (ABA), and has studentships funded through BBSRC and ESRC with Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Tate & Lyle. JCGH provides expertise on health, weight management and appetite control to the food and beverage, commercial weight management, pharmaceutical and ingredient sectors. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-lancet-study-shows-weight-watchers-is-more-effective-than-brief-intervention-partnered-with-self-help-materials-300451167.html


Whybrow S.,Rowett Research Institute | Whybrow S.,University of Surrey | Ritz P.,Toulouse University Hospital Center | Horgan G.W.,Rowett Research Institute | James Stubbs R.,Slimming World
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2013

Objective estimates of activity patterns and energy expenditure (EE) are important for the measurement of energy balance. The Intelligent Device for Energy Expenditure and Activity (IDEEA) can estimate EE from the thirty-five postures and activities it can identify and record. The present study evaluated the IDEEA system's estimation of EE using whole-body indirect calorimetry over 24 h, and in free-living subjects using doubly-labelled water (DLW) over 14 d. EE was calculated from the IDEEA data using calibration values for RMR and EE while sitting and standing, both as estimated by the IDEEA system (IDEEAest) and measured by indirect calorimetry (IDEEAmeas). Subjects were seven females and seven males, mean age 38·1 and 39·7 years, mean BMI 25·2 and 26·2 kg/m2, respectively. The IDEEAest method produced a similar estimate of EE to the calorimeter (10·8 and 10·8 MJ, NS), while the IDEEAmeas method underestimated EE (9·9 MJ, P < 0·001). After removing data from static cycling, which the IDEEA was unable to identify as an activity, both the IDEEAest and IDEEAmeas methods overestimated EE compared to the calorimeter (9·9 MJ, P < 0·001; 9·1 MJ, P < 0·05 and 8·6 MJ, respectively). Similarly, the IDEEA system overestimated EE compared to DLW over 14 d; 12·7 MJ/d (P < 0·01), 11·5 MJ/d (P < 0·01) and 9·5 MJ/d for the IDEEAest, IDEEAmeas and DLW, respectively. The IDEEA system overestimated EE both in the controlled laboratory and free-living environments. Using measured EE values for RMR, sitting and standing reduced, but did not eliminate, the error in estimated EE. © 2012 The Authors.


Stubbs J.,Slimming World | Whybrow S.,University of Surrey | Lavin J.,Slimming World
Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2010

A healthy rate of weight loss of 0.5-1.0 kg/week can be achieved by invoking an energy deficit of 450-900 kcal/day. This assumes an energy cost of weight loss of 6300 kcal/kg. This value will increase with percent body fat. Diet and physical activity strategies should be combined to lose weight. However, dietary approaches to weight management appear most efficacious for initial weight loss. Energy density should be the cornerstone of dietary weight reduction strategies because it helps people develop and optimise healthy eating habits that are sustainable in the longer-term. However, healthy diets for weight management should be seen as a package including reduced fat, energy density, sugars and salt, increased fibre, protein and water content of foods. Healthy diets also have to be palatable, to maintain interest in healthy eating. Monotherapies for weight loss are subject to the laws of diminishing returns. Practical approaches to weight management should be focused on a package of weight loss and maintenance strategies, including relapse prevention. It is important to provide consumers with a flexible approach to behaviour change and lifestyle solutions that they can match to their individual lifestyle needs. Evidence from studies of successful weight-loss maintainers shows that people can work this out for themselves if they can access the right tools, continuing care, guidance and social support to achieve sustainable lifestyle change. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Nutrition Foundation.


Stubbs R.J.,Slimming World | Pallister C.,Slimming World | Whybrow S.,University of Surrey | Avery A.,Slimming World | Lavin J.,Slimming World
Obesity Facts | Year: 2011

Objective: This project audited rate and extent of weight loss in a primary care/commercial weight management organisation partnership scheme. Methods: 34,271 patients were referred to Slimming World for 12 weekly sessions. Data were analysed using individual weekly weight records. Results: Average (SD) BMI change was -1.5 kg/m 2 (1.3), weight change -4.0 kg (3.7), percent weight change -4.0% (3.6), rate of weight change -0.3 kg/week, and number of sessions attended 8.9 (3.6) of 12. For patients attending at least 10 of 12 sessions (n = 19,907 or 58.1%), average (SD) BMI change was -2.0 kg/m 2 (1.3), weight change -5.5 kg (3.8), percent weight change -5.5% (3.5), rate of weight change -0.4 kg/week, and average number of sessions attended was 11.5 (0.7) (p < 0.001, compared to all patients). Weight loss was greater in men (n = 3,651) than in women (n = 30,620) (p < 0.001). 35.8% of all patients enrolled and 54.7% in patients attending 10 or more sessions achieved at least 5% weight loss. Weight gain was prevented in 92.1% of all patients referred. Attendance explained 29.6% and percent weight lost in week 1 explained 18.4% of the variance in weight loss. Conclusions: Referral to a commercial organisation is a practical option for National Health Service (NHS) weight management strategies, which achieves clinically safe and effective weight loss. © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.


News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Aldi and Lidl have sunk to their slowest growth rate since 2011 as Tesco almost doubled its pace of expansion. The UK’s biggest supermarket gained market share for the second month in a row as sales rose by 2.2% in the 12 weeks to 6 November, up from 1.3% reported last month, making it the only one of the big four chains in growth, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel. Tesco increased market share to 28.2%, up from 27.9% a year ago. Aldi and Lidl continued to be the fastest expanding grocers in the market. But their growth slid to 11.4% and 8.4% respectively, according to Kantar. Some analysts believe sales in the chains’ established stores are flat or even down on last year. Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said the discounters were being hit as they were now up against very strong rates of growth a year ago, while Tesco’s resurgence had made life more difficult. He said Tesco was selling bigger volumes of fresh meat and produce after cutting prices and introducing its cheaper own-label Farm Brands ranges. Its premium Tesco Finest range also increased by 6% over the period. UK discounter Iceland, which had previously been under pressure from the rise of its German rivals, has also found a way to fight back more effectively. Its sales were up 8.3% as increased seafood ranges and tie-ups with Slimming World and Pizza Express paid off. Meanwhile, action by Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s to cut prices has drawn the discounters into the price war. “Aldi and Lidl haven’t let their price differential [to the major supermarket chains] slip and so they have been cutting prices which has slowed their growth down,” said McKevitt. The price war prompted yet another month of deflation, with prices across the market down an average 0.5%. However that is the slowest pace of deflation since October 2014. and McKevitt said: “We’re likely to see inflation in December.” Mike Watkins, UK head of retailer and business insight at analysis firm Nielsen, which also found that Aldi and Lidl had slipped to its slowest pace of growth since 2011, said grocers had yet to see any impact from Brexit. “Shoppers are still spending freely and we’ve seen a return of sustainable growth in the volume of items people are buying, helped by industry-wide price cuts,” he said.


News Article | February 18, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Zuppa di Pesce, 28-day matured steaks, asparagus spears, and a £35 bottle of champagne to wash it down. This may not sound like your typical shopping basket from Iceland, but the UK’s homegrown cut-price chain is experiencing a revival in sales after taking a tip from Germany’s Aldi and Lidl by offering luxury foods that broaden its appeal. After about two years “in the wilderness”, in the words of founder Malcolm Walker, during which sales and profits dipped, Iceland is celebrating its 47th year in business with a surprise revival. Iceland has just been named as the UK’s best online supermarket by 7,000 shoppers polled by consumer group Which? for the second year running. They also rated its stores ahead of much larger chains Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda. The chain increased sales by 8.6% in the three months to the end of January, taking its market share to 2.3%, the highest level since 2001, according to market analysts Kantar Worldpanel. Walker says sales at established stores are rising again after investment in better quality products and some smart advertising campaigns, which are finally helping to shrug off Iceland’s links to Kerry Katona and doner kebab pizzas. “Many companies, if they see a drop in profits, cut costs. We did the opposite and spent money,” says Walker. Backing from Brait, the investment vehicle of acquisitive South African entrepreneur Christo Wiese, which upped its stake in Iceland to 57% from about 20% in late 2015, has helped support the revival. Walker says he brought in new management across all areas of the business, including former Morrisons and Waitrose head chef Neil Nugent who he set up as head of product development with a £3m development kitchen. “It was a bit of a Portakabin before,” says Walker. Ideas have also been imported from The Food Warehouse, a sister chain run by Walker’s son Richard, which is also providing another avenue of growth. It currently has 34 stores, which are larger than Iceland shops and sit on retail parks rather than high streets. There are plans for between 25 and 30 more over the next few years. In Iceland, you can still buy shepherds pie, a cheesy bean and sausage stew or McCain oven chips for £1. But there are also frozen scallops, whole Dover Sole and tuna steaks, as well as Slimming World ready meals, Pizza Express ice-cream and pizzas, and frozen berries for juicing. The chain now has 50 luxury food lines compared with a handful a year ago. The change in menu is tempting in more shoppers while existing customers are spending more. What’s more, nearly 19% of the chain’s punters now hail from the middle class AB demographic, according to Kantar Worldpanel, compared with 16.1% in 2015. Shoppers are buying more fresh and chilled foods, as well as frozen fish and ready meals. Bryan Roberts, a retail analyst at TCC Global, says Iceland has found a way to fight back against stiff competition by Aldi, Lidl and the bigger supermarkets, which had all expanded their ranges of frozen foods. “Historically Iceland has failed to communicate its benefits, using uninspiring celebrities. Arguably they were just preaching to the converted. But its recent advertising has been more aspirational and has demonstrated its often unacknowledged breadth of range in fresh and ambient as well as frozen foods,” Roberts says. Walker also admits Iceland’s website was “a bit Fisher-Price”, or basic, when it first launched three years ago, but online sales are now increasing by as much as 50% year on year. That’s partly thanks to low delivery charges, but those polled by Which? also praised the quality of its fresh products and its friendly, helpful drivers. The next stage of Iceland’s development can be found in Clapham, a well-to-do suburb of south London, where Iceland has been experimenting with a hipsterish store designed to attract shoppers from the Little Waitrose next door. There are smart vertical freezers with sloped doors which show off products more effectively, double the amount of fresh fruit and veg moved to the front of the store and a much bigger wine and beer section. With lots of colourful pictures of food on walls and pillars, it feels more like a small supermarket than a typical Iceland, which can often seem bleak and dated. Regular shoppers filling their baskets on Friday morning say they find it much easier to move around and spot what they want. One says she’s not yet been tempted by the octopus or clams but adds: “Ooh, it’s not too posh for me.” Sales have doubled since the Clapham store’s refit in October, while only about 10% of the range is different to a regular Iceland, mostly imported from Food Warehouse. The group is now planning six more makeovers similar to Clapham elsewhere in London, including stores in Fulham, Worcester Park, Streatham and East Finchley, and will be roadtesting most of the elements at a refit of its Chester store, close to Iceland’s head office, from next week. About 50 more of Iceland’s 882 UK stores are already lined up for a makeover within the next year if the first six perform well. Walker says: “The middle classes wouldn’t have been seen dead in [the Clapham store] before but they’ve said ‘this looks quite smart’ and when they go in they’re blown away by the products and prices.”


News Article | November 24, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

The government of Iceland has launched legal action against its namesake British grocery chain over the use of its name. The island of Iceland is challenging Iceland Foods’ exclusive ownership of the European-wide trademark registration for the word Iceland which it said was preventing the country’s companies from promoting goods and services abroad. Iceland Foods, which is privately owned by entrepreneur Malcolm Walker and the South African investment group Brait, had “aggressively pursued and won multiple cases against Icelandic companies which use ‘Iceland’ in their representation or as part of their trademark, even in cases when the products and services do not compete,” Iceland’s ministry for foreign affairs said. “The Icelandic government’s legal challenge at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EU-IPO) seeks to invalidate this exclusive registration on the basis that the term ‘Iceland’ is exceptionally broad and ambiguous in definition, often rendering the country’s firms unable to describe their products as Icelandic,” the statement added. The ministry said Iceland had tried several times to negotiate in the hope of reaching a fair solution and avoiding legal action but its efforts had been met with “unrealistic and unacceptable demands by the supermarket chain leaving Iceland with no choice but to proceed with a legal resolution to the situation”. Iceland Foods said it received no recent approaches about an amicable resolution of the issue, which was its preferred approach. “We very much regret that the government of Iceland has apparently decided to take legal action over the use of the name Iceland,” the company said. “While we will vigorously defend Iceland Foods’ established rights where there is any risk of confusion between our business and Iceland the country, we have been trading successfully for 46 years under the name Iceland and do not believe that any serious confusion or conflict has ever arisen in the public mind, or is likely to do so. We hope that the government will contact us directly so that we may address their concerns,” the company said. The supermarket chain’s sales have risen after it introduced better quality foods including more seafood and branded ranges with Slimming World and Pizza Express. Its sales were up 8.3% in the 12 weeks to 6 November, according to analysts at Kantar Worldpanel. It was founded in Oswestry in 1970 but does have historic links to its namesake country. Icelandic retail conglomerate Baugur bought a controlling stake in the grocer which it held until its collapse in 2009. Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir took on the stake, which was later acquired as part of a management buyout led by Walker. Brait, which is backed by South African retail entrepreneur Christo Wiese who also owns stakes in New Look and Virgin Active, owns 57% of Iceland. The company, whose headquarters are in Deeside, has more than 800 stores across the UK and employs more than 23,000 staff.


Global Weight Loss and Obesity Management Market Forecast to 2024 – New Report by Data Bridge Market Research Global Weight Loss and Obesity Management Market, by Fitness Equipment (Cardiovascular Training Equipment, Strength Training Equipment, Body Composition Analyzers, Fitness Monitoring Equipment), by Surgical Equipment (Minimally Invasive Surgical Equipment, Non-Invasive Surgical Equipment), by Dietary Supplements, by Services, by Geography – Industry Trends and Forecast to 2024 Dallas, TX, February 25, 2017 --( The market is segmented on the basis of dietary supplements, fitness equipment, surgical equipment, services, and geography. On the basis of dietary supplements the Global Weight Loss and Obesity Management Market is segmented into dietary food, dietary beverages and dietary supplements. Based on fitness equipment the weight loss and obesity management market is segmented into cardiovascular training equipment (treadmill, elliptical, stationery cycles, Rowling machines, stair steppers, others), Strength training equipment (single stations, plate loaded, free weights, benches and racks, multi-stations, accessories), Body composition analyzers, fitness monitoring equipment. Based on Surgical equipment the weight loss and obesity management market is segmented into minimal invasive equipment (gastric bypass, laparoscopic gastric banding system, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, billiopancreatic diversion surgeries, revision surgeries), noninvasive surgical equipment (intragastric balloon system, endobarrier devices, endoscopic suturing, stomaphyx). On the basis of services the weight loss and obesity management market is segmented into facilities and programs. Request for sample pages: https://databridgemarketresearch.com/reports/global-weight-loss-and-obesity-management-market/ Based on geography the market is segmented into 5 geographical regions, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America and Middle East and Africa. The report of this market covers data for major countries such as U.S. Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, France, U.K., Belgium, Switzerland, Belgium, Turkey, Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa. Read more: https://databridgemarketresearch.com/reports/global-weight-loss-and-obesity-management-market/ The key players operating in this market are Ajinomoto Co. Inc., Herbalife Ltd., Nestle SA, Pepsico Inc., Johnson Health Tech Co. Ltd., The Coca-Cola Co., Nutrisystem Inc., Mayo Clinic, Zafgen, Weight Watchers International, Inc., Jenny Craig, eDiets.com, VLCC Healthcare Ltd, Slimming World, Duke Diet & Fitness Center, 24 hours Fitness, Equinox, Inc., Life Time Fitness, Inc, Fitness First Group, Town Sports International Holdings, Inc., Abbott Nutrition, GSK, Roche, Atkins Nutritionals, Bruswick, Kellogg, Merck, McNeil Nutritionals, Reebok, Unilever, Precor Inc, Ethicon Endo-surgery Inc, Allergan Inc among others. About Data Bridge Market Research: Data Bridge set forth itself as an unconventional and neoteric Market research and consulting firm with unparalleled level of resilience and integrated approaches. We are determined to unearth the best market opportunities and foster efficient information for your business to thrive in the market. Data Bridge endeavors to provide appropriate solutions to the complex business challenges and initiates an effortless decision-making process. Dallas, TX, February 25, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Global Weight Loss and Obesity Management Market is expected to reach USD 253.1 billion by 2024 from USD 156.4 billion in 2016, at a CAGR of 6.2% in the forecast period 2017 to 2024. The new market report contains data for historic years 2014 & 2015, the base year of calculation is 2016 and the forecast period is 2017 to 2024The market is segmented on the basis of dietary supplements, fitness equipment, surgical equipment, services, and geography.On the basis of dietary supplements the Global Weight Loss and Obesity Management Market is segmented into dietary food, dietary beverages and dietary supplements.Based on fitness equipment the weight loss and obesity management market is segmented into cardiovascular training equipment (treadmill, elliptical, stationery cycles, Rowling machines, stair steppers, others), Strength training equipment (single stations, plate loaded, free weights, benches and racks, multi-stations, accessories), Body composition analyzers, fitness monitoring equipment.Based on Surgical equipment the weight loss and obesity management market is segmented into minimal invasive equipment (gastric bypass, laparoscopic gastric banding system, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, billiopancreatic diversion surgeries, revision surgeries), noninvasive surgical equipment (intragastric balloon system, endobarrier devices, endoscopic suturing, stomaphyx).On the basis of services the weight loss and obesity management market is segmented into facilities and programs.Request for sample pages: https://databridgemarketresearch.com/reports/global-weight-loss-and-obesity-management-market/Based on geography the market is segmented into 5 geographical regions, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America and Middle East and Africa. The report of this market covers data for major countries such as U.S. Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, France, U.K., Belgium, Switzerland, Belgium, Turkey, Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa.Read more: https://databridgemarketresearch.com/reports/global-weight-loss-and-obesity-management-market/The key players operating in this market are Ajinomoto Co. Inc., Herbalife Ltd., Nestle SA, Pepsico Inc., Johnson Health Tech Co. Ltd., The Coca-Cola Co., Nutrisystem Inc., Mayo Clinic, Zafgen, Weight Watchers International, Inc., Jenny Craig, eDiets.com, VLCC Healthcare Ltd, Slimming World, Duke Diet & Fitness Center, 24 hours Fitness, Equinox, Inc., Life Time Fitness, Inc, Fitness First Group, Town Sports International Holdings, Inc., Abbott Nutrition, GSK, Roche, Atkins Nutritionals, Bruswick, Kellogg, Merck, McNeil Nutritionals, Reebok, Unilever, Precor Inc, Ethicon Endo-surgery Inc, Allergan Inc among others.About Data Bridge Market Research:Data Bridge set forth itself as an unconventional and neoteric Market research and consulting firm with unparalleled level of resilience and integrated approaches. We are determined to unearth the best market opportunities and foster efficient information for your business to thrive in the market. Data Bridge endeavors to provide appropriate solutions to the complex business challenges and initiates an effortless decision-making process. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Data Bridge Market Research


News Article | March 12, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

First it’s sea bass, and then an individually wrapped dover sole. Malcolm Walker is banging high-quality frozen seafood down on the table as if he’s demonstrating some kind of fish-based martial art. But he’s not planning an attack on the Observer – Walker is using the icy seafood as a key weapon in his attempt to fight back against the fast-growing discounters, Aldi and Lidl, which are putting his home-grown discount chain under pressure. Walker is trying to change the perception of Iceland from the home of the doner kebab pizza, cheap fish fingers and deals on fizzy pop into something with broader appeal. You can still buy frozen chocolate fudge cake for £1.50, two “deep dish” pizzas for £1 or a bag of Bernard Matthews mini-kievs for £2. But there are also frozen scallops, whole sea bass and swordfish steaks, as well as Slimming World ready meals, quinoa and frozen berries for juicing. “We have been fighting on price for many years. Everybody knows we are cheap. Now we are trying to convince you that our food is better than you think it is,” says Walker. “In England, frozen food has the reputation of being low quality – that’s nothing to do with it being frozen,” he says. Findus Crispy Pancakes were ousted from Iceland’s freezers in 2014; the doner kebab pizza and bubble bobble prawns, which have generated many a column inch for Iceland in the past, have now been ditched in favour of cheese soufflés, frozen soup and woodfired pizzas, albeit alongside £1 cottage pies. Bringing in more premium ranges has worked wonders for Aldi and Lidl, which have attracted middle-class shoppers with cheap lobster and champagne and managed to shrug off their image as the destination shop for skint students and those on benefits. But Iceland has so far struggled to broaden its appeal in the same way. Whether it’s the cheesy Peter Andre ads, the lurid red-and-white branding or snobbery about stores piled high with cheap deals, the chain is a discounter that is not riding the discounter trend. Aldi and Lidl are also able to offer the very keenest prices on everything from wine to nappies – because they focus on own-label products, sourced via their huge international parent companies, rather than the international brands that Iceland sells. Iceland might also be continuing to suffer from its early link to the horsemeat scandal back in 2013. Traces of equine DNA were found in some Iceland burgers in initial tests by Irish authorities, which generated huge adverse publicity. The level found – 0.1% – was well below the 1% threshold that UK food regulators later defined as indicative of contamination or adulteration. Other retailers, whose products were tested later, were not named for selling food with such trace levels of DNA. Whatever the reason, sales at established stores sank 2.7% in the 40 weeks to 1 January and underlying pre-tax profits slipped 1% to £107m. Last year, annual profits slumped by a quarter. So far, there is little sign that the upmarket food is pulling in the punters. New data published last week by research group Kantar showed grocery spending in the 12 weeks to the end of February up more than 15% at Aldi, and nearly 19% at Lidl, compared to the same period in 2015. Iceland spending was down 2.6%. In terms of market share, Aldi now accounts for 5.8% of the UK grocery market, making it bigger than Waitrose and close to overtaking the Co-operative. Together, Aldi and Lidl have 10% of the market, meaning the big two discounters are snapping at Morrisons’ heels. Iceland has just 2.1% of the market. “Life is tough,” says Walker. “Aldi and Lidl are having a big impact but the growth in their market share is not that big at all ... but they have forced prices down because [rivals] want to be seen as comparable as much as they can. There’s food commodity deflation, the oil price is down and dairy prices are on the floor. “In the past four years, 3,000 convenience stores have opened in Britain and then there’re the pound shops, Home Bargains and B&M. Five years ago, none of them sold food; now they all do. Everybody is eating away at market share. It is an oversupplied industry – and we have to compete with everybody on price.” Despite the chain’s current trading difficulties, Walker, a veteran retailer who founded Iceland in 1970, last year won increased backing from Christo Wiese, the acquisitive South African entrepreneur who is also a major shareholder in Steinhoff International, the company currently trying to buy Argos. Wiese’s Brait investment vehicle upped its stake in Iceland to 57% from about 20% in October last year. It sees Iceland as a way to get a slice of food-discounter action in the UK and has been rumoured to want to link it with an acquisition of Morrisons. That may or may not be true but, for now, Wiese is backing Walker’s plan to expand his new Food Warehouse chain – which has bigger stores and a broader range of products. Walker plans to double the number of Food Warehouse stores to about 24 over the next year, with outlets already planned in Manchester, Bristol and Reading. Meanwhile, more exotic or premium items that have sold well in Food Warehouse, from scallops to ostrich and kangaroo steaks, are also being introduced into Iceland’s 850 stores. The group is taking £100,000 a week in sales of scallops and sea bass and sold 300,000 lobsters over Christmas. Walker says that is down to ordinary shoppers experimenting with new ideas, not an influx of BMW drivers. He insists he is not trying to move upmarket and is happy with the chain’s demographics – about 30% of customers are middle class. “We still sell inexpensive foods. But if you want to buy an £8 dover sole, it’s there,” says Walker. He believes the problem is a stigma about frozen food in the UK, although we have the upmarket Cook frozen ready-meals chain here. “We have such a strong brand but it is almost working against us now,” Walker says. He’s even toying with a new store front that would ditch the bright red. Walker points out that in the Czech Republic, where Iceland now has four stores with plans for one more in the near future, the retailer is seen as posh. “Stupid, middle-class people think chilled is better. I am trying to remove the prejudice against frozen food and get people to understand it is better for you [than chilled or fresh],” he says.


Stubbs R.J.,Slimming World | Lavin J.H.,Slimming World
Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2013

Weight loss is a difficult journey often characterised by repeated faltering attempts. There are numerous approaches to weight management but they all involve changes in self-management, eating or activity behaviour. Weight loss induces changes in physiological and emotional systems, which tend to pull people back to where they came from. At the present time, it is not clear how the rate, extent or type of weight loss impact on signalling systems that oppose weight loss. Dietary changes in behaviour appear to be more achievable for weight loss earlier in the weight loss journey, while physical activity becomes a critical adjunct to initial dietary changes for weight loss maintenance. A range of weight control behaviours characterises weight loss and weight loss maintenance. People successfully maintaining significant weight loss tend to control their appetite, do more physical activity and remain vigilant, to catch slips in behaviour that may lead to weight regain. There may be differing clusters of behaviours, which characterise weight loss compared with weight loss maintenance, and there appear to be different clusters of behaviours that characterise weight loss maintainers. To navigate from the journey of weight loss to one of habitual weight loss maintenance requires long-term self-management. Environments and programmes that support, nurture and facilitate long-term behaviour change give people the capability, the opportunity and the motivation to navigate to a healthy weight. © 2013 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2013 British Nutrition Foundation.

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