Jack Duckett
Jack Duckett is a Senior Consumers Lifestyle Analyst at Mintel. He specialises in reports exploring the attitudes and behaviours of different demographic groups.

Weight Watchers has appointed artist and record producer DJ Khaled as their new social media ambassador. The plan is for him to share the journey towards a healthier lifestyle with his huge social media following (9M followers alone on Instagram) and document his weight loss. This unexpected move is already proving successful, with Weight Watchers’ stock jumping 8% after the announcement – the biggest one-day jump in share price since Oprah Winfrey became their last high profile brand ambassador (and a 10% shareholder). Meanwhile, data from Mintel’s managing a healthy lifestyle research highlights that a striking 19% of UK men say they put no effort into staying healthy, suggesting scope for companies to bridge the gender obesity gap, and encourage men to be more proactive when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

Guiding men to the right information

A number of studies suggest that one issue for men looking to lose weight could be that most of the information available is targeted at women. Commercially, this issue has been compounded by the dieting industry’s heavy focus on women dieters, with the major players – Weight Watchers and Slimming World – traditionally boasting largely female members. At a basic level, this suggests that businesses can create more gender-specific information when it comes to healthy living, including calorie and activity goals that will make it easier for men to understand what they need to do. Going one step further, brands can create online communities that will help men to share their findings and ask other questions of men in a similar situation.

What We Think

There is substantial market opportunity for brands that use their campaigns to offer information and inspiration to men looking to lose weight. Sport England’s much-lauded ‘This Girl Can’ initiative proved that campaigns can have a positive impact on consumers’ healthy habits. A similar principle could apply for male audiences through campaigns that promote a “have a go” attitude that could minimise some of the anxiety that overweight men may feel about being more active. There is even scope for gym chains to create classes specifically for men looking to lose weight, with the sense of community offered by such groups likely to keep men on a healthy track.

Jack Duckett, Senior Lifestyle Analyst at Mintel, joined the company as a Research Executive in August 2012. He specialises in working on reports for the household and food & drink sectors. Jack also has a keen interest in social media and cultural trends.