There are countless slimming centers, especially in large cities. In Casablanca, for example, there are about a hundred. Women make up 95% of a clientele aged between 18 and 50.
The price of a cure is between 8,000 and 12,000 DH.
Refinement of the silhouette, fitness or relaxation. A fashion that has become a real social phenomenon. Although men have started it too, it is mostly women who worry. The trend is therefore towards slimness, the perfect body and well-being. It is accentuated by an established social pressure in Moroccan society since the early 2000s: women’s magazines, advertising posters praising the perfection of the body as a source of happiness, success and good health. This has led to a change in female beauty criteria. This is no longer linked, as in the past, to the overweight of the all-round woman but rather to thinness and slenderness. This is what beauty salons, fitness centers, health food stores, nutritionists, and even primary care physicians answer to.
Diets, personalized slimming programs, food supplements, creams and serums, dietary advice and follow-ups, not to mention the machines designed to track bulges and other fat deposits, form the main part of the offer of the slimming specialists. This wide offer exactly meets the needs of consumers who undertake diets, the use of various products and no longer hesitate to resort to the most imaginative cosmetic surgery.
The weight loss market is very juicy and is recovering, after the two years of imprisonment during which several centers have gone out of business. “Indeed, the pandemic and confinement have had a strong impact on our industry which, over the past decade, has experienced significant growth,” says Ms. Ghita Berrada of the Center Physical Minceur in Rabat. But from 2021 the sector has counted, says Rihab Chouari, nutritionist, “many investments to satisfy a strong demand for treatment of the effects of confinement on the body”.
In this disorganized market it is difficult to make a quantified evaluation of the activity, but the professionals keep a multiplication of the slimming centers and the opening of nutritional studies. It should be noted that it is the big cities such as Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech and Agadir that have the largest number of openings of fitness and weight loss centers. A trend largely justified by the level of purchasing power and the number of working women. Because they are the ones who make up the majority of customers in the sector. In fact, according to fitness centers, 95% of customers are women in the 18-50 age group. It should also be noted that three out of ten women in Morocco are overweight. They come to get rid of the pounds gained during puberty, during pregnancy or during pre or post menopause. If the question was, a few years ago, cyclical, mainly coinciding with the arrival of summer or after Ramadan, today professionals note that women have introduced diets, massages and sports into their daily ritual of wellness and beauty.
Free birthday sessions …
Men, on the other hand, are less regular. “Several male clients come to the center, sign up for a quarterly or sometimes even annual subscription, but they rarely come. They get discouraged quickly when weight loss isn’t quick or they invoke lack of time, ”explains the manager of KinéVie, a fitness center in Casablanca.
What do the slimming centers offer and at what price? The heart of the weight loss program is food monitoring and monitoring of bulges and cellulite by manual or mechanical massage.
Lipoactivation, which uses ultrasound vibrations to break fat cells, or pressotherapy, which performs “hyperpressures” on specific areas of the body, and finally CelluM6, a professional device for rolling the palpation based on “endermology”. Sessions whose price varies between 300 and 600 dirhams. Global weight loss tracking is billed between 8,000 and 12,000 dirhams depending on the center. The programs are followed after a preliminary assessment which costs from 200 to 300 dirhams.
The care protocols are adapted to each person based on his age, family situation, activity and above all lifestyle. Some centers offer a sports coach for individual 60-minute sessions for a fee of 300 dirhams three times a week. “This helps to support the person who needs to be stimulated for a sporting activity in order to reach the ideal weight target set according to their size and age”, explains Khaoula Mrani, a young sports coach who is keen to emphasize that “Physical activity is essential in any weight loss program in addition to massages and other machines. Furthermore, after the treatment, the duration of which varies according to the set goal, a maintenance follow-up is necessary for a period of three to five months. ”During this period the centers offer fortnightly weight control and relaxing massages. The first two massage sessions are free and the following ones cost 230 dirhams each.
To encourage women to take care of their bodies, the centers offer paid concessions and promotions for summer, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. And to build customer loyalty, some centers offer free birthday sessions. Beyond weight loss programs, the centers do not hesitate to develop specialized treatments such as postpartum care, anti-aging treatments or anti-stress treatments in order to position themselves. Offers from 10 to 20 sessions at a price ranging from 200 to 600 dirhams.
The slimming market has been enriched, for five years now, with a new offer: Companies that offer an exclusively catering service after having carried out an evaluation to determine the duration and type of diet. These companies, five in number, based in Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier, then deliver ready-made meals at a price ranging from 800 to 1,000 dirhams per week. “It is an interesting offer, because it makes life easier for the customer, but it must be recognized that while the quality is good, the quantity is small. This causes, when the person is not cheating, rapid weight loss but the yo-yo effect is inevitable, ”confides a client. The same source, dedicated to slimming treatments, wishes to underline that “after several treatments that have certainly given results, weight stabilization remains difficult. Which leads us to say that professionals must raise awareness about a healthy lifestyle and the need to continue sports. So you can keep fit “.