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SlimFast logo.svg
Product type Dietary supplement foods
Owner Kainos Capital
Country United States
Introduced 1977; 41 years ago (1977)
Markets U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Latin America
Previous owners Thompson Medical Company, Unilever
Website Website

SlimFast is a headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida that markets an eponymous brand of shakes, bars, snacks, packaged meals, and other dietary supplement foods sold in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latin America, and the U.K. SlimFast promotes diets and weight loss plans featuring its food products.


SlimFast has over 50 clinical studies designed and conducted by independent researchers on the

effectiveness of fast weight loss using their meal replacement strategy “the SlimFast Plan”.[1]

Based on clinical trials, SlimFast claims consumers who follow their meal replacement plan, can

expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week and sustain their weight loss.[2][3][4][5]


SlimFast was started in 1977 as a product line of the Thompson Medical Company, founded in the 1940s by S. Daniel Abraham. Thompson Medical also sold the controversial weight loss dietary supplement Dexatrim.[6][7] In 1987, Abraham took the brand private, and it was acquired by Unilever in 2000.[8] In 2014, Unilever sold SlimFast to Kainos Capital.[9] After the sale, KSF Acquisition invested with Kainos Capital in order to take responsibility for the SlimFast brand in the UK, Ireland and Germany.[10]

SlimFast used the phrase, "a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, then a sensible dinner", for many years to describe the use of the products within the SlimFast plan.[when?][citation needed] With the addition of snacks and an approach that allows for a variety of calorie plans, the brand currently advocates a more flexible system.[citation needed]


SlimFast's product lines span three distinctive eras: those of the original product line (shakes only), the low-carb product line introduced in response to the low-carb diet craze initiated by the Atkins and South Beach Diets, and the simplified "3-2-1" product line introduced in late 2009.

Original (1987–2004)[edit]

SlimFast was originally just a diet shake product line. It consisted of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla shakes meant to replace breakfast and lunch. The company suggested customers eat a low-calorie dinner. Usually, dieters would pick a low-calorie frozen dinner brand such as Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers, as the SlimFast diet was a convenience product line that offered none of its own dinner products. Later, in the mid-1990s, SlimFast began offering meal bars that could be used as meal replacements.[citation needed]

Low-Carb Era (2004–2009)[edit]

SlimFast struggled, as did many diet foods in 2002, with the rise of low-carbohydrate diets, and from 2002-2003 experienced a 21% drop in sales. The brand responded in 2004 with a line of items designed to compete in the low-carb market as well as introduced SlimFast Optima products, which were lower in sugar than the standard SlimFast products.

Between 2004 and 2009, five types of SlimFast products were available: Original, Optima, Low carb, High protein, and Easy-to-Digest.[11] Optima, the flagship brand, eventually replaced "original recipe" shakes. In addition to having less sugar than the original, SlimFast Optima shakes contain a protein and vegetable fat blend that is claimed to help with hunger control.[12] Optima was available in the same forms as the original products: meal bars, powders, shakes, and snack bars.

Current (2009–Present)[edit]

In late 2009, SlimFast simplified its product line with the "3-2-1" diet plan. The plan emphasized three 100-calorie snacks, two 200-calorie meal replacements (shakes or meal bars), and one dinner. SlimFast's product line now only consists of 3-2-1 products and no longer includes the Optima, Original, Low-Carb, or Easy-to-Digest versions.

There are two categories of SlimFast products, and two sub-categories each:

  • Shakes – Both can only be used as meal replacements (the "2" in the 3-2-1 plan means a dieter is allowed two a day; i.e., two shakes, two bars, or one bar and one shake, for a maximum of two "2" items a day).
    • Ready-to-drink Shakes come in plastic bottles. It is essentially the shake mix mixed with skim milk.
    • Shake mix powder can be mixed with milk, water, or anything the dieter chooses to mix it with, but fat-free milk is recommended on the container.
  • Bars – Meal Replacements (item "2") and Snack Bars (item "3")
    • Meal Replacements are 200 calories and are meant to be used in place of shakes (the "2" in the 3-2-1 plan described above).
    • Snack Bars are 100-calories and meant to be the "3" in the 3-2-1 plan, as a dieter can have 3 a day. Snack bars are not supplemented with vitamins and minerals.

A dieter could eat two snack bars as their meal replacement, since two snack bars have the same number of calories as one meal bar, although the meal bars are also meant to be rich in vitamins and minerals, whereas the snack bars are only measured by calorie count and not supplemented by vitamins.

SlimFast does not offer products in category "1", which is one "sensible" meal, which the US site suggests should be 500 calories,[13] while the UK site suggests 600 calories.[14]

2009 recall[edit]

On December 3, 2009, SlimFast recalled all of its canned products due to possible bacterial contamination.[15] The company stated that it had halted production until the cause was discovered.[16] No further problems or issues have been noted. In 2011, SlimFast stopped producing cans and has since used plastic bottles.[17]

2014 - Present[edit]

In 2014, Kainos Capital acquired SlimFast from Unilever and appointed new CEO Chris Tisi.[18]

Under its new ownership, SlimFast has developed and launched multiple new products.[19]


  1. ^ Heber, D.; Ashley, J. M.; Wang, H. J.; Elashoff, R. M. (1994-12). "Clinical evaluation of a minimal intervention meal replacement regimen for weight reduction". Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 13 (6): 608–614. ISSN 0731-5724. PMID 7706595.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Flechtner-Mors, M.; Ditschuneit, H. H.; Johnson, T. D.; Suchard, M. A.; Adler, G. (2000-8). "Metabolic and weight loss effects of long-term dietary intervention in obese patients: four-year results". Obesity Research. 8 (5): 399–402. doi:10.1038/oby.2000.48. ISSN 1071-7323. PMID 10968732.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Hernandez, Teri L.; Ballard, Robert D.; Weil, Kathleen M.; Shepard, Trudy Y.; Scherzinger, Ann L.; Stamm, Elizabeth R.; Sharp, Teresa A.; Eckel, Robert H. (2009-1). "Effects of maintained weight loss on sleep dynamics and neck morphology in severely obese adults". Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.). 17 (1): 84–91. doi:10.1038/oby.2008.485. ISSN 1930-7381. PMC 3350806Freely accessible. PMID 18948968.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "Feeding behaviors and weight loss outcomes over 64 months". Eating Behaviors. 3 (2): 191–204. 2002-06-01. doi:10.1016/S1471-0153(01)00059-9. ISSN 1471-0153. 
  5. ^ Tate, Deborah F.; Jackvony, Elizabeth H.; Wing, Rena R. (2006 Aug 14-28). "A randomized trial comparing human e-mail counseling, computer-automated tailored counseling, and no counseling in an Internet weight loss program". Archives of Internal Medicine. 166 (15): 1620–1625. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.15.1620. ISSN 0003-9926. PMID 16908795.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ "Our Brands: Foods: SlimFast". Unilever Canada. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  7. ^ "History: SlimFast Foods Company". Funding Universe. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  8. ^ Branch, Shelly; Beck, Ernest (2000-04-13). "Unilever Buys Ben & Jerry's, SlimFast for Over $2.5 Billion". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-04-19. 
  9. ^ Stynes, Tess (2014-07-10). "Unilever Sells Slim-Fast Brand to Kainos Capital". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-04-19. 
  10. ^ "Commercial agreement signed with KSF Acquisition". Proactiveinvestors. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Our Plan". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  12. ^ "Slim·Fast - Product Questions: Ask the Dietitian". Slim-Fast. Archived from the original on 2005-03-05. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  13. ^ "HOW IT WORKS". SlimFast. US. 
  14. ^ "About the Plan". SlimFast. UK. Archived from the original on 2011-08-17. 
  15. ^ "Recall". SlimFast. December 3, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Slim Fast canned drinks recalled by Unilever". NY Daily News. Associated Press. December 5, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Slim-Fast loses cans in bottled makeover". Drugstore News. 
  18. ^ "West Palm Beach-based CEO Tisi plans Slim-Fast makeover". mypalmbeachpost. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  19. ^ Smith, R. J.; Bryant, R. G. (1975-10-27). "Metal substitutions incarbonic anhydrase: a halide ion probe study". Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 66 (4): 1281–1286. ISSN 0006-291X. PMID 3. 

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