Nestlé axes Jenny Craig in the UK

Nestlé is axing Jenny Craig, its UK weight-loss programme, putting 12 jobs at risk.

Mel B: stars in Jenny Craig's Australia campaign
Mel B: stars in Jenny Craig's Australia campaign

Nestlé launched Jenny Craig, which has achieved considerable success in the US and Australia, in 2010 in the UK to take on dieting heavyweight Weight Watchers.

The brand, whose brand ambassadors include Spice Girl Mel B, is closing from next month because sales have failed to meet expectations.

Nestlé acquired Jenny Craig in 2006 for $600m ( £388m). The company was founded by an Australia woman of the same name in 1983 who created her own diet plan to shed weight after having children.

Nestlé does not break out specific financial performance figures for Jenny Craig, but globally it is thought to be a £340m a year business.

Weight management is a growing business in the UK and Nestlé claimed the UK market is worth around £2bn. The bulk of Jenny Craig customers are women and in the US.

In the US, it has made use of female celebrities, including Kirstie Alley, in its TV advertising. Mel B was the face of the brand in Australia and New Zealand.

Nestlé said it hoped to find new roles for the staff 12 impacted by the closure.