Jenny Craig collapses in Australia and New Zealand

Image: CTRPhotos, iStock

Jenny Craig is in dire straits.

Last month, the ABC reported that Jenny Craig Australia and New Zealand went into voluntary administration. US Jenny Craig filed for bankruptcy a week earlier.

Vaughan Strawbridge, Kate Warwick and Joseph Hansell were appointed as voluntary administrators.

In a statement, FTI Consulting confirmed the appointment:

Despite undertakings to do so [this] has resulted in the directors of the Australian and New Zealand needing to appoint voluntary administrator.

At the time, Jenny Craig had eighty ‘weight management centres’. They had roughly 377 staff across Australia and New Zealand.

Jenny Craig Australia/ New Zealand goes under

Image: Jade Craven, iStock

Unfortunately, FTI Consulting’s efforts to find an administrator ultimately failed.

Last Wednesday, (7 June 2023, AEST) the ABC reported that Australia/ New Zealand’s operations will close.

FTI Consultants has confirmed the closure of Jenny Craig’s stores. They stated that employees will be made redundant:

Administrators have today advised all of the employees in Australia New Zealand (sic) that a sale of the business with the stores continuing to trade and staff continuing their employment is unachievable.

Despite fifteen parties expressing interest and even making non – binding offers, nothing came to fruition.

Administrators confirmed that Jenny Craig’s online business would be sold to healthcare start – up Eucalyptus.

Jenny Craig closed in the US in early May.

Jenny Craig’s origins and controversies

So, where did Jenny Craig start?

Jenny Craig began in 1983 by American husband – and – wife Genevieve (Jenny) and Sidney Craig. They started their company in Melbourne. They opened stores in the US two years later.

Jenny struggled to lose weight after having her second child. According to the website, Mrs Craig claimed she was working out at the gym alone, and realised that it “didn’t lead to long – term weight – loss” (spoil alert, neither does Jenny Craig or most weight – loss programs for most people).

Over the years, Jenny Craig has had many celebrities promote the company. They include comedian Magda Szubanski, Rebel Wilson, Mel B, Mariah Carey and the late Kirstie Alley. Jenny Craig paid them.

Unfortunately, Szubanski has publicly battled with her weight since being Jenny Craig’s ambassador.

The company attracted millions of customers. They provided their customers with custom menus to (supposedly) help them shed the weight.

In 2019, Jenny Craig was bought by H.I.G Capital. They employed 1.000 people, with 500 stores in the US and Canada.

What now for the weight – loss industry?

It’s no secret that a lot has changed since 1983. Weight loss programs and shows such The Biggest Loser has faced fierce scrutiny.

People are more aware of the potential negative effects of yoyo dieting. Instead, people have turned to two alternatives: body – positivity and Ozempic.

Celebrities like, singer/ flutist, Lizzo (real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson) is praised for embracing her body. The media, including the US’s Cosmopolitan has also embraced larger bodies by including plus – sized models on their cover.

However, people are still trying to lose weight. Most recently, news outlets has reported that celebrities have turned to diabetes drug, Ozempic. However, pharmacists have raised alarm over the trend, claiming that they are running out of the drug, leaving diabetes sufferers to go without.

It’s the end of Jenny Craig. And it may be the end of a chapter in the weight – loss industry. But, it’s not the end of the story.