TV diet guru McKeith eyes packaged goods partner

McKeithGillian McKeith, the controversial TV nutritionist and diet book author, is understood to be in talks with a number of packaged goods companies about launching co-branded organic versions of established products.

It is thought McKeith is keen to extend her brand into the personal care and household goods categories as well as broadening her food product range.

McKeith, who made her name fronting Channel 4 show You Are What You Eat, is working with media consultancy Lazarus Consulting to find new opportunities for extending her brand. She already sells a range of energy bars, fruit and vegetable juices and cooking oils through supermarkets and health food stores. 

Lazarus head Steve Lazarus says McKeith is already in talks with food and household goods manufacturers about a string of projects but declines to say which companies were involved.

He adds that McKeith would be involved in the manufacturing of any co-branded products to make sure the “nutritional elements” were improved and that any products were made in an “ethically responsible” way.

McKeith has been building a branded empire since her TV show began in 2004 though she has come under fire from the medical community. She volunteered to stop using the title “Dr” last year after complaints that her qualification was gained through a correspondence course from a non-accredited US college. But she was, in any case, forced to drop the title after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled it would mislead the public.

More recently, McKeith has courted controversy over her support for the goji berry, a fruit found in the Himalayas that has been billed as a superfood, but is expected to be banned by the Food Standards Authority. The FSA wants the berry to undergo testing before it is pronounced safe to eat.

McKeith has already launched a range of snacks and bars containing the fruit.

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