Actress Kirstie Alley is back again as the face of the Jenny Craig weight loss program —a role that made the brand famous back in the early 2000s.
“Remember I went in a bikini (coughing),” Alley tells FOXBusiness.com of her 2006 appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Now, Alley and Winfrey are going face-to-face as weight loss spokespersons. Winfrey became a member of Weight Watchers (NYSE:WTW) back in October after buying a 10% stake in company.
“Oprah was very generous with me. She had me on her show like seven times. She followed my journey on Jenny Craig losing weight. She was great for Jenny Craig,” adds Alley. “And, honestly, there’s a real epidemic in this country of being overweight. So I don’t think there’s a lack of people to help and to reach out to.”
Jenny Craig CEO Monty Sharma says Oprah in the mix doesn’t change anything for his growing company.
“For the first time we’ve launched a starter kit at Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) that allows us to be in front of consumers there. There’s a lot of people walking in-in the Wal-Mart stores, in the diet side, that we didn’t have access to before,” says Sharma. “Also, we’re going to be opening many more Jenny Craig stores across the country.”
Alley, who fell off the weight loss wagon in 2007, says this time around it’s different. “I’m looking at it more at a long term perspective. The mother company for Jenny Craig bought the assets to my company called Organic Liaison, which has three products that I really love,” she adds.
And, one of the main reasons the “Cheers” actress keeps coming back to the program is became it’s the only thing that works for her.
“If I could have done it totally on my own, I would have done it totally on my own, but I really need that coach – that cheerleader and that little bit of accountability,” notes Alley, “Also, I really love their food.”
Sharma says the food is something the company has been working on for over a year to meet consumer trends on healthier ingredients.
“We were sort of getting dated,” he adds. “We pay close attention to make sure that we’re evolving with the trends and I do expect to have an organic line up in the years out and we’re working towards that.”
The brand also went all out for their marketing campaign this year which combined Alley’s “Cheers” family with her Jenny Craig one.
“Having George [Wendt] and John [Ratzenberger] being Cliff and Norm, it’s just iconic,” says Alley. “I was so grateful that they wanted to be part of my game and come and play over there again on the ‘Cheers’ set. I was shocked that they said yes, if you want to know the truth!”
While Alley stills want to be known and remembered for her movies and acting, she says Jenny Craig has given her a chance to help change people’s lives.
“I’m real honored at this point to be able to help other people and I’m honored to be able to get the word out that there are options that you don’t have to do it alone.”