In the middle of an article I was reading I found a tidbit I found very surprising.
JennyCraig is owned by Nestlé, and Weight Watchers is owned by the same company that owns Keebler Foods.
So of course, I had to look into this – and it’s true.
Weight Watchers is owned by Artal Group; a private international corporation that began by investing inBelgium’s sugar industry. They own a large chunk of Weight Watchers, as well as Keebler and Sunshine Foods – the No. 2 and No. 3 cookie companies in theUnited States. Hmmmm.
In Europe, Artal Group also owns:
* Poult/Dryon: Private label biscuit manufacturer based in France and Belgium.
* Pizza Hut Finance: A 50/50 joint venture with Pepsico, operating over 100 outlets.
* Dan Cake: Europe’s market leader in cakes, pastries, and swiss roles.
* Neuhaus: Belgian premium chocolates manufacturer with distribution entities in the USA, France, Spain, UK, Germany and Japan.
JennyCraig is owned by Nestlé, which also owns Lean Cuisine!
Talk about covering all bets.
Now, I know this is business as usual for large corporations, to diversify their investments; and since each subsidiary will have its own board and officers, there are probably no real conflicts of interest. And I can’t say I’m surprised.
But this feels like this is information people should know. Like knowing who is funding anti-fat or pro-diet research.
And it feels like hypocrisy that these diet companies are also in the “stuff you’re not supposed to eat when you’re on our diets” business. Am I wrong?
As the ancient Chinese said in The Art of War –
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
And we all know, this is war; and the diet industry is the enemy (or at least one of them).