NBC and General Mills are planning on launching a “Biggest Loser” line of food this fall. The idea of someone sitting at home watching that show while munching a “Biggest Loser” energy bar is deeply depressing. [Entertainment Marketing Letter]


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  1. djanes1 says:

    Yes, but when will I be able to buy replica jerseys of my favorite competitors?

  2. BStu says:

    Haven’t we already gotten to the point where ex-contestants are gaining back the weight they lost? That qualifies them to sell diet products?

    Actually, never mind. That DOES qualify them to sell diet products since that’s what happens to nearly all consumers of the diet industry. Later day snake oil merchants.

  3. cabinaero says:

    Is there an actual link on this? I find this highly unlikely… the company I work for would be involved in any such product roll-out and we’ve not heard a peep. Maybe Fall ’09 but certainly not Fall ’08.

  4. I don’t know, if Slim Jims worked as advertised I think those would work great for weight loss. Snap into it and Randy Savage busts up your stuff and scares the hell out of you.

  5. TVarmy says:

    A brand about weight loss selling products about weight loss? Seems okay to me, or at least not as bad as existing tie-ins get.

  6. I think the issue is that TBL promotes the idea that viewers can “lose along” with the show. The website has dietary and exercise guidelines as well as community support for people who are inspired by the show.

    On a personal note, I think the comment is a little d***ish.

  7. Melsky says:

    They should have a “gain along” segment too, where viewers can gain all the weight back along with the contestants after they start eating normally again and are not supervised by trainers.

  8. pixiegirl1 says:

    I wonder if the contestants would be force fed this the food you know free advertisement for the food line will save tons on commercials.

    I have no issues with a show about loosing weight starting a line of food I just wonder how successful it would be. I can see it being a hit when it first comes out but I don’t really see TBL food line making it in the long run.

  9. @cabinaero: The news came from a subscriber-only newsletter for the marketing industry, so no, there’s no link. (Although you can probably find it through a news feed service like Factiva.) Here’s part of the story:

    The studio’s Ben Silverman says that co-branded products are in the works between the network’s weight-loss reality competition and General Mills. The products would be part of a “massive” sponsorship campaign with the processed foods giant for the show’s Families edition, which premieres Sept. 16.

    Silverman, speaking at the Madison + Vine conference last month in Beverly Hills, CA, said that the planned General Mills products are the latest example of including advertisers “earlier in the process” of show development. Like other broadcasters, NBC seeks to enhance its value proposition to brands in the face of ratings declines, DVRs and the proliferation of other advertising media.

    Details of the forthcoming program remain unspecified. General Mills brands currently have minimal presence on NBC’s Biggest Loser website (vvww.nbc.com/The_Biggest_Loser/), with cereals such as Cheerios and Chex included in some contestants’ diet plans.

  10. cabinaero says:

    @Chris Walters: Thanks. Sponsorship doesn’t necessarily equal cobranded products. It probably means a special tie-in promotion, e.g., “The Biggest Loser Approved!” as opposed to “New! Biggest Loser Snack Bars”. Still a FY08 roll-out is not likely. Maybe late FY08…

  11. QquegChristian says:

    It’s too early to tell if this is truly evil or not. We’ll have to see the ingredients and nutrition facts first!

    I’ve kept off 160 pounds (I now weigh 145 at age 23) for 6 years now, without any trainers or extreme, Biggest Loser type exercise regimens.

    It’s disappointing to see the lack of food talk on Biggest Loser. I’m a firm believer that the only way to keep weight off is to know what’s in the food that you’re eating. The weight loss industry is obsessed with numbers. Number of calories, number of carbs and so on. But we need to first understand that 100 calories from broccoli is a whole lot different than 100 calories in a can of Coke.

    Some of the products they already, so shamelessly whore on The Biggest Loser are good products, like Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal (no added sugar, high protein, high fiber… tastes kind of like crap though) but sometimes they are really stretching it on there.

    I cringe anytime they pitch 100 Calorie Packs because 100 calories from some candy or cookies or chips is still 100 GARBAGE calories.

    People that are looking to lose weight don’t need to have ANY garbage calories in their house. I gave up all garbage for two years and got to where I wanted to be a whole lot quicker. Now that I’m maintaining, I can get away with eating that stuff in moderation as long as I stay active. My point is, these small treats may help you stick to your weight loss plan in the short run, but how much they’ll slow your loss down will dishearten you into quitting in the long run.

    If anything with The Biggest Loser brand has corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils in it, I’ll be writing a few letters!

    The last one that I wrote was to Kraft, over their “South Beach Diet recommended” Sugar Free Cool Whip. The first ingredient is corn syrup! Their response was that the corn syrup used in the Sugar Free Cool Whip is lower in sugar than ordinary corn syrup. (I think they meant that it was not “high fructose” corn syrup) But they’d already agreed in that statement that the corn syrup IS in fact sugar, in their Sugar Free product. Next time you’re in a store, read the ingredients of Cool Whip, Cool Whip Light, Cool Whip Free and Cool Whip Sugar Free… they’re all the exact same ingredients, just in different amounts.

  12. dollywould says:

    Honestly, I can’t believe they waited this long to do it. 24 Hour Fitness already has Biggest Loser tie-ins with personal trainers and nutrition programs. TBL anything is a sure bet.

    Though I have to admit I get a sick pleasure from eating during TBL. Knowing how ridiculous the show is (a former contestant once told me what they do on the show – work out for four + hours, spend the rest of the time preparing food and sleeping), I just have to roll my eyes sometimes.

  13. I think the worst thing I ever saw on TBL is the crazy hardcore trainer claiming that every diet soda someone drinks equals to one whole pound of extra weight later, and I’m just thinking of the neurotic little Asian housemate I used to have who went through ten two-liter bottles of diet soda WEEKLY and who will never see the far side of 130 lbs…

  14. QquegChristian says:

    Everyone is full of it on the Diet Soda. I drink anywhere from 4 to 8 diet sodas a day, as well as 3 cups of coffee with Equal and have been drinking this much for 8 years. I was able to lose the 160 pounds without any issue while drinking this and have kept it off.

    Now neurological diseases and cancer and so on is another story. If aspartame causes something… I will get it one day. But we should all remember that aspartame is the single most lab tested food in history and they can’t concretely prove anything.

  15. darkryd says:

    Its fitting that the name of the product pretty much describes the consumer buying it.

  16. Juliekins says:


    I’ve kept off 160 pounds (I now weigh 145 at age 23) for 6 years now, without any trainers or extreme, Biggest Loser type exercise regimens.

    Congrats! What a wonderful accomplishment. Truer words were never spoken. I’ve maintained a 25 pound weight loss for about 5 years, and you’re right–laying off the crap during the trip makes the destination get closer faster. I used to be all about the 100 calorie packs until I realized, like you said, that 100 calories of crap is still crap no matter if it is overpriced and overpackaged or not.

    I have never seen an entire episode of The Biggest Loser, but another message board I spend a fair bit of time on has a big group of fans of the show. The things they talk about happening on that show disgust me. They are not teaching people how to be healthy. They are torturing them in the name of good television. Yes, the participants signed up willingly. The fact of the matter is that show is teaching people that losing weight and/or being healthy is some herculean (sisyphean, perhaps?) effort and will be full of pain and tears and drama. It doesn’t have to be. Chipping away at it piece by piece and learning new habits over time is a much more productive and healthy way to lose weight than severe calorie restriction and working out until you puke.

    Fuck the Biggest Loser, and fuck their co-branded/sponsored foods.

  17. mrearly2 says:

    And it turns out that the biggest losers are those who watch NBC (and the other networks’ trash) and eat junk food, from General Mills and others.