The Slimzone range which was launched in earlier this year in January stated that the meals were “free to enjoy following the Slimming World Extra Easy Plan”. Slimming World, which does issue a list of ‘free foods’ that are considered healthy for customers to consume whilst following its diet plans, has claimed that it had not endorsed the range and that it was not given sufficient information to make an accurate assessment of the ingredients. In light of this, it has sought a legal injunction.
Slimming World has accused the supermarket of “trading on the back of its much-loved brand’ in order to promote its range. The Asda ready meals were priced at £2.50, making them 50p cheaper than Slimming World meals sold in Iceland.
Asda say that the meals included a statement advising customers that the Slimzone range was not endorsed by Slimming World, but it has also confirmed that the 12 meals will be removed from its 600 stores. A spokesman for Asda commented: “We take great pride in the integrity of the claims we make about our products”. The statement continued “Recent information has come to light indicating that the method used by Slimming World to assess whether a ready meal is free or not, surprisingly is partly subjective and involves more than simply making food with free ingredients. Slimzone was always intended to bring more choice and lower prices to customers shopping for healthy frozen ready meals but because of this new information, we have chosen to remove the range whole we consider the best option for our customers”.
Slimming World has said that Asda’s decision to remove the meals from its shelves comes ahead of a court hearing- scheduled for next week, in which Slimming World will seek an injunction over the trade mark issue. A spokesperson for Asda commented “Although we repeatedly asked Asda to give us a more detailed breakdown of the ingredients used, they would not supply those details- so we were unable to confirm whether or not the meals would be designated to free food on Slimming World’s healthy eating plan. It’s always been our view Asda were misusing our trade marks to promote the range, trading on the back of our much loved and respected name and reputation, regardless of whether the meals count as free food on our healthy eating plan”.
She further stated that Slimming World hoped that the supermarket chain would be able to re-launch its range without using its trade marks or name”.