Slim Fast is a food and beverage brand owned by Unilever which produces weight loss shakes, snacks, packaged meals, and other dietary supplement foods. Slim Fast also promotes diets and weight loss plans featuring its food products.
The Original products
Slim Fast's original products included Slim Fast Ready-To-Drink shakes, available in several different flavors, which were used in place of a meal. They had 24 essential vitamins and minerals, 220 calories, 3 mg of fat, 5 mg of cholesterol, 40 grams of carbohydrates,10 grams protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 35 grams sugar. This particular product line also included a line of meal replacement bars, a powdered version of the shake that could be mixed by one's self less expensively than the canned version, and several flavors of snack bars. These products are being phased out as part of the companies transition to the "Slim Fast Optima" line.
The "Optima" and low-carb product line
After the brand suffered severe problems in the early 21st century due to the popularity of the Atkins Diet, which takes a radically different approach to weightloss. (Slim Fast has introduced low-carb shakes and other products to compete with Atkins, which reached the height of its popularity in 2004.) In February 2005, Unilever announced that it was making exceptional charges of €1.5 billion in its accounts, and most of this was a write down of the value of the Slim Fast brand.
The low-carb diet shakes are dimilar to the orginal formula with four main changes. First, the protein content has been doubled to 20 grams, and the carbohydrates have been reduced to just 6 grams, the fat content however has been tripled with 9 grams, the calories have been reduced to 190.
The "Optima" shakes closely resemble the original formula, the most notable change is that they have half the sugar, the sugar reduction was accomplished by substituting Splenda, a non-nutritive sweetener; Optima shakes have 180 calories, 5 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein, and 5 mg of cholesterol.
Both Optima and low-carb Slim Fast shakes contain the same vitamin content of the original.
Slim Fast's TV ads have featured a variety of celebrity endorsers, including Tommy Lasorda and Whoopi Goldberg (who was fired in July 2004 for making crude jokes about President George W. Bush during a Democratic fundraiser). The ads are well-known for the line, "A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, a sensible dinner.