The delivery box that carries a three-day sampling of meals from the weight-loss company Jenny Craig is tantalizingly large. Inside is a plastic-foam box containing a supply of what looks like candy: seven mysteriously labeled Anytime Bars and another treat known as a Yogurt Dream Bar. Jenny Craig would appear to be the Willy Wonka of weight-loss regimes, promising the magic of sweets that make you thin; the package also holds a brownie and a puff-pastry twist and a bag of chips. Finally, there are meals, packaged in sky blue: among them, French toast and an egg scramble and macaroni and cheese.
That is the Jenny Craig of America; then there is the Jenny Craig of France, where Nestlé, which purchased the company in 2006, started marketing its product two years ago. The French Jenny Craig box is smaller, its interior container more elegant. Instead of white foam, the packaging is brightly patterned, like a chic shopping bag. Inside, there are dishes like boeuf bourguignon and velouté de tomates. The meals seem more grown-up and sophisticated than the American versions, so many of which seem chosen to evoke childhood favorites.