Slimming World Serves Asda Slimzone Meals Complaint
Alfreton, Derbyshire, England-based Slimming World has announced that legal action is being taken against the Asda supermarket chain in the United Kingdom over its introduction of 13 frozen meals sold under the Slimzone banner. The products, which debuted in January, are distributed in packaging with front panel text that states: “Free to enjoy when following the Slimming World Extra Easy Plan.”
Slimming World, a UK weight loss and management company founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell in 1969, has been offering its own frozen food products exclusively through the Iceland retail chain since 2015. The range of 21 ready meals runs the gamut from 550-gram servings of Chicken & Chorizo-style Sausage Paella and Meatballs & Pasta with a Spicy Tomato Sauce to Singapore Noodles, Sweet Potato Curry and 500-gram packs of Chicken Tikka Masala.
Among dishes in Asda’s Slimzone line are Chicken Chow Mein, Chicken Jalfrezi, Chicken & Prawn Paella, Turkey Meatball Marinara and Beef & Three Bean Chilli with Rice. Selling for £2.50, which is 50p less than Iceland’s £3 price, the products are promoted as containing “5% fat turkey mince, beef mince, dried pasta and vegetables to ensure they’re free to enjoy as part of the Slimming World extra easy plan.”
A message to consumers posted at the Asda website reads: “Some customers have asked us whether Slimzone could be an alternative to Slimming World’s frozen meals. If you follow the Extra Easy Diet Plan, you’ll know how to work out the food that fits your needs. That’s why we’re sharing all of the ingredients that make up our Slimzone range compared against the ingredients of Slimming World’s frozen products that customers have asked us about the most. You can then compare these ingredients and make your own mind up about Slimzone. Good luck with shedding pounds and rest assured, shopping with Asda will also save you pounds!”
Well, some of those words apparently tipped the scale toward litigation at Slimming World, which has issued the following statement:
"After careful consideration and on the advice of our legal team, Slimming World has this week taken action to ask Asda to remove our trade marks from their range of Slimzone meals. We believe that Asda are unlawfully using our much loved and much respected name and trade marks on their meals (that's Slimming World, Extra Easy and Free), and are trading on the back of our brand's reputation, which we've built and nurtured over 47 years.
"We've worked hard over the years to earn the trust and confidence of our consultants, our members and the UK and Irish public – and maintaining that trust and confidence is at the heart of our decision.
"At the same time, we have decided that we won't be adding the Slimzone products to our official nutrition database. We are unable to give an accurate value for them and by our calculations from the very limited information we've been able to obtain, a number of the meals could not be designated Free.
"Although we asked Asda to let us have a more detailed breakdown of the ingredients used, they have not supplied those details and we have put on hold any decision about whether or not to include the meals in our official database.
"We know that this news will be frustrating to some members and we are truly sorry for the disappointment it will cause. The situation is beyond our control.
"The case is now in the hands of a judge and we won't be able to comment further on the meals themselves until we know the outcome of the case."
A spokesperson from Asda had only this to say when asked to comment on the legal challenge from Slimming World by a reporter from the Derby Telegraph: "Our customers have told us that saving money and leading a healthy lifestyle is a priority and that is why we developed our Slimzone range for them. We're confident in Slimzone and our customers seem to love it too. We've shared a full list of ingredients for the Slimzone meals to help our customers make up their own minds."