Thursday, 17 May 2012
Image: LighterLife food packets
Weight to Go
Harlow-based LighterLife was founded in 1996 by Jackie Cox and Bar Hewlett to help clinically obese people achieve rapid and sustainable weight loss. Finding that weight-loss programmes tended to lack a psychological aspect, the pair devised their own, combining very low calorie food packs with counselling and support groups.
After helping so many people in the UK, LighterLife decided to look abroad to find new markets. The company met UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) at a trade fair in early 2010, and later that year commissioned a series of Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) reports about potential markets, including France, the US, Germany, China and Brazil. The OMIS reports identified France as one of the most promising targets, so Paul decided to make a trip to investigate in person.
UKTI organised meetings for LighterLife with leading French obesity doctors, professors and hospital directors, as well as the General Directorates for Competition and Health and Consumer Affairs. The company was accompanied at these meetings by its UKTI advisor who offered advice about French business practice and culture, as well as translation services.
“The practical support that UKTI has given us has made it easier and faster for us to identify new leads,” says Derek Brown, CEO of AOMi Africa. “Being associated with UKTI has undoubtedly given us credibility and smoothed our path to success.”
Read the full case study of how UKTI helped LighterLife.