The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weightplan – Our EO Story

About the business:

  • The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan
  • Direct selling diet company that manufactures products
  • Based in Corby
  • 250 Employee Stakeholders
  • 100% employee owned.

The 1:1 Diet is sold and marketed through a network of independent business owners called Consultants, who number almost 8,000 in the UK & ROI.  We also operate in Germany and Austria and work with more than 19 Distributors, operating in 30 countries, who support thousands of international independent business owners across the world.

Consultants sell our products to tens of thousands of dieters each day whose lives are transformed through the use of the company’s unique Three P’s:

  • People: personal diet Consultants offering one-to-one support to their dieters
  • Product: nutritionally balanced meal replacement products that are tasty, healthy and affordable (currently more than 40 products manufactured and distributed from the company’s base in Corby with number of others manufactured in the UK and in EU on our behalf).
  • Plan: a flexible plan that can be tailored to suit the dieter in every way

We empower Consultants to run flexible and rewarding businesses to suit their individual lifestyles, which can transform their lives.

At the onset of the pandemic in February, we faced overnight disruption. We went from a state of working together at our Global HQ in Corby to a new world of two halves. One half on-site, keeping our essential manufacturing going, and the other half working from home in line with Government guidelines. As the lockdowns took hold in April and May 2020, our sales revenue took a hit the like of which the company has never experienced before in its 37-year history.

However, from that moment onwards , our pandemic story  is an inspiring one – first, resilience, then an astonishing rebound that led in time to a full recovery.

Our teams of Employee Stakeholders who needed to remain on-site have done really well in creating and managing working bubbles, social distancing and limiting infection rates so that we have been able to stay operating.

For those who have been able to work remotely they have been supported by the rapid  deployment and support of our IT infrastructure to allow home working. The business has weathered the double whammy of the pandemic and Brexit (we export a third of our products into the EU). By responding quickly and effectively our Employee Stakeholders worked tirelessly to implement new ways of working with their fellow stakeholders and in turn Consultants and Distributors around the world.

We also optimised our communications – reworking our internal communications strategy to incorporate more regular business and COVID-19 updates (in several different medias) to ensure Employee Stakeholders were reassured and aware of business performance throughout each stage of the pandemic. A key part of this was to maintain and support a clear two-way communications channel, through the prioritisation of implementing an Employee Stakeholder app. This tool has given Stakeholders the power to stay in touch with all areas of the business, feedback and ask questions on their own terms – even allowing for a little bit of fun amongst colleagues if they wished to use social aspects of the platform.

For our network of Consultants and Distributors whose businesses were built on the ethos of one to one relationships and face-to-face consultation with their dieters, the realities of numerous lockdowns and social distancing meant their traditional ways of working needed to adapt quickly so that their businesses could survive the pandemic. Our teams came together to revolutionise this new offering for our Consultants and Distributors, bringing forward innovations to overcome these issues via our direct to dieter ordering system and virtual consultation platforms. Innovations which not only safeguarded the businesses of those already working with us, but also made the prospect of working with us an appealing one for  those unfortunate enough to find themselves out of work. It is no exaggeration to say that projects which would have taken us 18 months to two years to implement in normal times happened in a few short months (and in some cases even a few short weeks).

As a result of everyone’s hard work and dedication, we have successfully delivered the highest annual sales in the company’s 37-year history. As well as launching more than a dozen new products, we have welcomed hundreds of new Consultants. They have seized the business opportunity and continued to support many dieters on their weight-loss journey successfully. It is something we are very proud.

The results we have achieved in the last year have not come easily. Employee Stakeholders have endured a lot of personal strain, pressure, angst, and grief, but alongside all this our core EO values of resilience and sustainability have shone through. The theme of this year’s EO Day: Better Together, is extremely poignant, as the simple truth is that the people involved in this organisation (Employee Stakeholders, Consultants and Distributors) are the ones that made it happen when it really mattered.

And this spirit, tenacity and camaraderie has ensured that the business is well placed to continue to grow and prosper as we (hopefully) begin to exit the pandemic.