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Nestlé acquires Jenny Craig in Australia and New Zealand

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Nestlé Australia Ltd announced today that it is buying the shares of the company that holds the master franchise for Jenny Craig in Australia and New Zealand. The acquisition will take effect from January 2011.

Jenny Craig Australia and New Zealand, the company that helped Magda Szubanski lose more than 25kg, will operate as part of Jenny Craig Inc, a global Nestlé Nutrition business.

Ms Amy Smith, Managing Director, Jenny Craig Australia and New Zealand, said the deal represents an exciting opportunity for the Australian business.

“In Australia, Jenny Craig has grown significantly in recent years,” Ms Smith said. “Now, with the scale, synergies and expertise that Jenny Craig can supply, we are confident this growth will continue,” Ms Smith said.

“Jenny Craig was founded in Australia in 1983, so it is especially fitting that the Australian branch should now be a part of the global company.”

Ms Smith said that she was looking forward to further developing the Jenny Craig brand, which she believes has considerable unrealised potential, nationally.

Ms Patti Larchet, CEO of Jenny Craig, said the company was delighted to welcome the Australian business into the group.

“At Jenny Craig, we are committed to addressing the obesity epidemic and helping our clients lead healthier lives. As we continue to evolve our program, the Australian market will benefit from our global program innovation and scientific research,” Ms Larchet said. Jenny Craig offers a comprehensive weight management program which includes personalised nutrition and activity plans, with one-on-one weekly consultations as well as a range of nutritionally balanced and portion-controlled prepared foods.

A study published in October this year by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that those who took part in the Jenny Craig program adopted healthier eating habits and meaningful health benefits for overall improved quality of life. In the two-year independent, multi-site clinical trial conducted in the U.S., participants achieved an average weight loss of 10% of their body weight after one year and weight maintenance of more than 7.9% at the two-year mark.

As well as the Jenny Craig program helping participants to adopt healthier eating habits, the study also revealed that those following the program reduced risk factors that can lead to chronic disease including depression, diabetes, cancer and even stroke.

Ms Larchet noted that the positive findings of the research had immediate implications for the millions affected by obesity and potentially far-reaching effects on public health and policy.

“The results of this study highlight how the Jenny Craig program can significantly affect the obesity epidemic,” Ms Larchet said.

Jenny Craig was founded in Australia and now operates in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, the UK and France as well as Australia and New Zealand.

The current Jenny Craig management team will continue to run the business and will report directly to Jenny Craig headquartered in Carlsbad, California, USA. There are no redundancies as a result of this agreement.

For further information, or for an interview with Amy Smith:
Fran Hernon
Corporate Affairs Manager
Nestlé Australia Ltd
Direct line: (02) 8756 2976
Mobile: 0418 473 861
Email: [email protected]