The media mogul just became your health food guru
America’s favorite life coach is now your go-to nutritionist.
Fresh off her $294 million dollar Weight Watchers success, Oprah Winfrey is taking an even bigger bite into the food industry with a new line of healthyish packaged foods.
“O, That’s Good,” Winfrey’s new refrigerated heat-and-eat comfort foods is on shelves this week and produced by Kraft Heinz, the giant maker of Oscar Mayer, ketchup and Cool Whip.
— Mamta Badkar (@mamtabadkar) August 9, 2017
“I’ve been asked over the years to do anything you can imagine to attach my name to it,” Winfrey told People. “I have always just wanted to stay in my lane and to do what was organic for me, authentic and natural. Food would be it.”
The 63-year-old media mogul is selling more than just food – it’s an expansion of her brand of self improvement, which is why experts predict it will be an instant success.
“Oprah is comfort food. You turn to her when you’re stressing and she makes you feel good. She represents wellness whether it’s emotional, spiritual or knowledge with her book club,” Chuck Welch, lifestyle brand expert tells Moneyish.
“Heinz was smart to partner with her, they know her value. It’s a natural transition from Weight Watchers into food.”
Winfrey’s mantra behind the line is treat yourself to an extent by mixing healthy ingredients into not-so-healthy dishes. Her mashed potatoes have cauliflower; a three cheese pasta adds a bit of butternut squash and there are white beans in a creamy Parmesan pasta.
The eight items include four soups, four pastas or sides and have no artificial ingredients. Ten percent of the profits go to hunger-relief organizations like Rise Against Hunger and Feeding America. The soups will retail for $4.99, and other items are priced at $4.49.
Sure the concept is a tasty one, but just having Oprah backing it is what really will make it sell like hot cakes. Weight Watchers stock has quadrupled since Winfrey purchased 10% of shares when she joined the brand in 2015. Her stake was worth $43 million when she brought it in 2015, now it’s $294 million, according to CNN Money. Sales soared after the talk show veteran posted a promo video saying you can eat bread and lose weight, admitting she lost more than 20 pounds on the WW plan.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 26, 2016
And in 2014, Winfrey teamed up with tea brand Teavana and Starbucks to create her namesake Oprah Chai Tea. All proceeds of the limited time cinnamon and ginger tea sale went to charity, and the partnership raised $5 million for youth organizations.
“People trust what she puts her stamp on,” says Welch. “She’s so relatable we’ve seen her fight the battle of the bulge her whole career – she’s very relatable in that sphere,” he adds.
Winfrey is worth an estimated $3.1 billion, according to Forbes. She’s had resurgence in her career with recent hits like the HBO film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” and her upcoming Disney blockbuster “A Wrinkle in Time” alongside Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon will hit theaters next March. And this fall she’ll return to her TV reporting roots as a special contributor to “60 Minutes.” The majority of her wealth is still derived from her talk show years which spanned from 1986 to 2011.
“With Amazon and online purchasing, brands are becoming commoditized. The only thing that breaks through the crowd and transforms a product beyond just the food is a spokesperson with a cult following and who better in the world than Oprah?” says Adam Padilla, founder and president BrandFire.
“She says something in her book club and it’s her best seller, she says something is her favorite thing and it becomes the hottest product. Her fans believe in her.”
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