Giant to offer do-it-yourself frozen diet


Giant Food Inc. will attempt to fatten its sales with the introduction Sunday of a highly promoted, comprehensive new weight-loss plan.

The 156-store grocery chain announced yesterday that it had signed an agreement under which it would be the exclusive regional distributor of the Just Help Yourself line of 28 frozen breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.

The products would be part of a dietary plan that includes instructional materials and optional weight-loss counseling, but no meetings or membership fees, Giant said.

Barry Scher, Giant's vice president of corporate affairs, said the unusual arrangement was backed by a high-powered marketing campaign. For the past week, Giant has run "teaser" ads heralding a "diet you can do for yourself" -- without giving specifics.

The products, made by Just Help Yourself Food Co. of Southfield, Mich., will be displayed in its own freezer case in each store's produce department, set apart from similar products such as Weight Watchers and Stouffer's Lean Cuisine.

Giant would become the fourth grocery chain in the country -- and the first on the East Coast -- to offer the Just Help Yourself plan.

Mr. Scher said Giant became interested in Just Help Yourself after hearing about its success at Ralph's, a California grocery chain where the products were launched last year.

Starting Jan. 29, Giant plans to have dietitians in its stores for three weekends to explain the plan and provide samples.

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