KOT is a French weight loss program now available in more than ten countries. The company prides itself in offering scientifically proven weight loss methods alongside its quality products. It has recently come to Mexico and its now working with 300 professionals in more than 25 cities. KOT believes it is important not to offer a miracle formula, but rather a method that allows completion of a balanced diet.
Article adapted from an exclusive interview with Ignacio de la Garza Evia, Director General of KOT
For years, existing weight loss options have failed the Mexican population. Miracle weight loss options formulas are gradually being pushed out of the Mexican market by COFEPRIS via stricter regulations and the nutritionists currently trying to close the gap are struggling. Many diet products and programs are on the market to offer a short-term fix, using pills, supplements, beverages, or medication, but the obesity epidemic remains. With a lack of real solutions in a market, KOT, a company with French origins, jumped at a clear business promising opportunity to help the seven in every ten people across all social classes that are obese or overweight, with a scientifically proven diet method. The company believes that Mexicans look for personalized backing to support weight-loss and KOT wants to provide a long-term solution through professional coaching, a technique with effectiveness corroborated by WHO. Specifically unique to Mexico is KOT’s iPhone and web apps, which allow patients to access a list of over 1,000 restaurants along with a list of meals in those restaurants that comply with the patient’s individual diet requirements.
KOT easy-to-follow method and solutions have been sold in ten countries so far, and the company holds exclusivity for the products and brand here in Mexico and in Latin America. Ignacio de la Garza Evia, the enterprise’s Managing Director, believes that what made KOT different from existing solutions was a combination of a scientifically proven method and quality products. Its effectiveness has been validated by Mexican doctors and nutritionists in hospitals with the most rigorous assessments, and two scientific studies on KOT’s methodology have been published in world renowned journals “The American Journal for Clinical Nutrition” (2012 Volume 95, Nb. 1, pg. 49) and “Nature” (2013, Vol. 500 pg. 585), showing that 49 out of 50 individuals were able to successfully follow through with the diet plan. KOT believes it is important not to offer a miracle formula, but rather a method that allows completion of a balanced diet, and with said method a patient can lose between 1.2kg and 2kg per week.
De la Garza points out that the products the company manufactures are considered food and not supplements in the US and Europe. In fact they are called “Technological Food,” which refers to a science that innovates macronutrients by producing food with added vitamins, minerals and proteins, much like many foods found in supermarkets. A low carbohydrate and fat proportion coupled with high protein content permits dieters to consume more wisely, without sacrificing comfort food. De la Garza gives the example of being able to eat pancakes or a chocolate bar and consume the same amount of protein as you would by eating a steak. This provides a solution for one of the biggest factors contributing to lack of adherence to nutritional programs: willpower.
To further expand on the problem of sugar addiction, sneaked even into savory products such as hamburgers and pizza, minimizing cravings is top of the list for nutritionists. Sugar dependency can vary from patient to patient, and Mexico, as the number one Coca Cola consuming country presents a challenge to doctors and nutritionists, who must wean dieters off sugar to avoid negative side effects, gradually restricting consumption while taking diabetes, hypertension, and hormonal conditions into account. KOT, however, can be credited with relatively few restrictions for diabetics, a huge benefit for users of the French dietary method.
The cost to import the product from Europe thus far has not impeded a 100% year-on-year growth for the company, which is taking measures to make the products universally accessible. The average cost is around MX$5,000 per month, excluding the cost of professional guidance, as it varies depending on the pricing of each individual doctor and clinic. However, the brand does appeal to hardworking professionals because of its portability. Ready to eat products ease the day-to-day complications of being on a diet, which may help long term adoption of the plan among dieters of all socio-economic backgrounds.
To offer products as widely as possible, 300 professionals in more than 25 cities in Mexico are working with KOT to combine their knowledge and training with this weight loss method. Currently, KOT is solely available through certain channels, such as through doctors’ recommendations, nutritionists or clinics, which may suggest limited growth, but on the contrary, this ensures higher success rates in terms of diet allocation and follow-through among patients. The number of professionals on board with the method is growing rapidly, as KOT tries to “gauge what third parties can bring to the process.” According to de la Garza, the priority is attracting big players in Mexico to recognize the effectiveness of the method at combatting a universally recognized problem. Possibly the next growth opportunity would be partnering with companies that incentivize employees’ weight loss, as it is proven to have a considerable impact on productivity.