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Slim-Fast Celebrates 30 Years of Helping Consumers Take Off the Weight

Weight Loss Icon Continues to be at the Forefront in the Fight Against

Obesity with a Proven and Effective Weight Loss Solution

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Slim-Fast, the popular diet plan that helps consumers lose weight with a proven approach that offers convenience, portion control and good nutrition. Although many things about Slim-Fast have changed since the product was first introduced in 1977, their mission continues to be focused on helping consumers succeed at losing weight with great-tasting, nutritionally- balanced products designed for weight loss and a proven, simple and flexible plan that fits today's busy lifestyles.

With obesity rates on the rise, consumers continue to search for weight loss products and services that offer promises of a "quick fix". As a result, the majority of consumers enter into a diet program with unrealistic weight loss goals and expectations, and unreasonable body image patterns set by society and the media. A recent Yankelovich study, for example, found that 56% of women want to be a size 8 or smaller, when the average size is a 14.

Slim-Fast has taken notice and is making an effort to help consumers achieve realistic and healthy weight loss goals through the 'Find Your Slim' campaign, a new point of view for the brand based on the guiding principle that there is no one ideal weight or size that suits everyone, and that each individual should set their own personal weight loss goal that is realistic and achievable. This campaign is the most recent example in Slim-Fast's 30- year history of helping consumers find a weight that's right for them.

Slim-Fast is no longer the "shake, shake, sensible meal" plan of the 1980s. Today's Slim-Fast plan is a flexible approach that consumers can customize to meet their needs and personalize according to their lifestyle, with free online support and tracking tools at and expert advice from registered dietitians and support from weight loss advisors by phone at 1-800- SLIMFAST. The brand now has a portfolio of over 50 products, including its flagship Optima line of meal replacement shakes and meal bars and snack bars, powdered shake mixes, a line of high protein powders, ready-to-drink shakes and meal bars and protein snacks, and Easy To Digest Shakes for people who are sensitive to lactose and gluten.

Slim-Fast, the Early Years

Slim-Fast was introduced in 1977 by Thompson Medical, owned by S. Daniel Abraham. Abraham had found success in the weight loss industry after marketing the diet pill Dexatrim in 1976, and decided to focus his efforts and finances developing a new powdered meal replacement shake. The Slim-Fast shakes were designed to be used at breakfast and lunch, followed by a sensible, healthy dinner as part of a 1,200-calorie weight loss plan. Slim-Fast soon made Thompson Medical a leader in the weight-loss industry.

In 1987, Abraham decided to take the company private and began looking for new advertising tools to promote Slim-Fast. He explored television celebrity endorsements, and in 1988, Los Angeles Dodgers' Manager Tommy Lasorda became Slim-Fast's first celebrity spokesperson.

Coming Into Its Own

In 1990, the success of Slim-Fast products caused Abraham to split from Thompson Medical to become its own company. Slim-Fast began to expand its variety of health and nutritional products, which included ready-to-drink liquid Slim-Fast shakes in cans and refrigerated cartons, hot chocolate mix, frozen entrees and desserts, and snacks such as cheese curls and popcorn. Throughout the 1990s, Slim-Fast aired more celebrity testimonial spots containing media personalities Frank and Kathy Lee Gifford, actor Peter DeLuise, ex-New York Mayor Ed Koch and singer Mel Torme.

Weight Loss That Works

Unlike the myriad of weight loss products and plans with unsubstantiated claims and unproven results, the use of meal replacements is widely recognized by nutrition experts and medical professionals as a proven and effective weight management strategy that helps dieters with portion control. The body of evidence supporting this approach is largely based on the results of independently-conducted research over the past 15 years using Slim-Fast. Over 35 clinical studies have been published in the scientific literature that demonstrate the significant short- and long-term weight loss results of using Slim-Fast, along with improvements in the health risks associated with obesity, making Slim-Fast one of the best researched diet plans in America.

Slim-Fast Innovates the Category

Unilever purchased Slim-Fast(R) in April, 2000, and has since expanded it globally into markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America. In 2004, the entire product line was reformulated and re-launched as Slim-Fast(R) Optima, with meal replacement shakes and bars that contain an average of 50% less sugar than the original product line, while delivering the same great taste and balanced nutrition.

Slim-Fast(R) remains the industry leader in meal replacement shakes and bars today, and is continually innovating the category with products and services designed to help make dieters more successful in their weight loss efforts. For example, Slim-Fast identified controlling hunger as an important issue for dieters, with nearly 2 in every 3 dieter admitting that hunger causes them to cheat on a diet, according to results of consumer surveys conducted in 2005 and 2006 by TSC, a division of Yankelovich. To address this important consumer need, all Slim-Fast Meals have been formulated to control hunger for up to 4 hours to help dieters better manage between-meal hunger.

About Slim-Fast Foods Company

Slim-Fast, a business unit of Unilever, offers a proven and effective way to lose weight that includes delicious, nutritionally-balanced weight loss shakes and meal bars and portion-controlled snacks; meal planning and tracking tools; physical activity suggestions; and expert advice and support. There are over 35 published clinical studies which show that following the Slim-Fast plan promotes effective weight loss and weight maintenance as well as improvement in the health risks associated with obesity. The Slim-Fast product line includes an affordable range of Shakes, Powders, Meal Bars and Snack Bars that are available in retail outlets nationwide. Visit or call 1 800 SLIMFAST for more information.

About Unilever

Unilever (NYSE: UL, UN), one of the world's largest consumer products companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

In the United States these brands include recognized names such as: Axe, "all," Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann's, Knorr, Lipton, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Snuggle, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever in the United States employs approximately 13,000 people in more than 60 office and manufacturing sites in 24 states and Puerto Rico - generating nearly $10 billion in sales in 2006. For more information, visit

SOURCE Slim-Fast
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