In 1983, the Jenny Craig Company was formed in Australia by both Sid and Jenny Craig. Today the headquarters are located in California. In just a little more than 10 years, this hard driving couple were able to build a company that generated over 36 million dollars a year in business. It was obvious that small town, Louisiana native Genevieve (Jenny) Guidroz had become a star in the dieting industry.
By 1998, there was a substantial drop in the earnings to 2 million dollars a year but the company managed to transform itself to fit the changing times. With a revamped and updated approach, earnings began to rise. This company has always shown the ability to find ways to gain favor with the public. Much of this success is directly attributable to the positive and tenacious attitude of Jenny Craig.
Genevieve, or Jenny as she is better known, developed an early interest in fitness during the 60’s when she was trying to lose weight that she had gained while pregnant. She opened her own fitness club in New Orleans during this time and she operated it until 1970.
Then she became a staff member at Body Contours, which was another fitness center in the area. Body Contours was a fitness center that was owned and operated by Sid Craig. The couple found that they had much in common, fell in love and were married in 1979. By working together, they were able to develop a unique concept that would turn their struggling fitness operation into a multimillion-dollar business.
The diet program that was developed by Jenny Craig Inc. is not meant to be viewed as a diet but as a practical approach to help clients develop healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. During the company’s early years, their clients would meet with a personal diet counselor and would purchase their food from Jenny Craig Inc. These food selections were perfectly proportioned and calorie controlled. Clients could choose meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There were also desserts and snacks that were offered on this plan. Diet participants would also be required to attend support meetings twice a week and discuss weight loss topics with a group that was led by a counselor. Today, pre-packaged meals are still the central theme of the program and now they can even be delivered to customers’ doors through the Jenny Direct program.
Jenny Craig Inc. did not go public until 1991. During this period, some changes were made in their upper management ranks. The program was changed and modernized. Clients were able to now choose the classes that they felt were of most interest to them. The company also started a video series that could be purchased for home use which instructed individuals about healthy diet choices and how to integrate better eating habits into their daily lives.
Celebrities that have had success with this program would very often become paid spokespersons. Among these were stars like Elliott Gould and Susan Ruttan. The most recent Hollywood stars to endorse Jenny Craig’s program have been Kirstie Alley, Marie Osmond, and Valerie Bertinelli.