IRISH WEIGHT LOSS company Miss Fit Enterprises has filed for liquidation shortly after the food safety watchdog recalled its products – which the company’s founder has called “an unfortunate coincidence”.
The self-described “female oriented” brand promoted teas and coffees that were marketed as weight loss products, which were sold in shops in Ireland.
Three weeks ago, Miss Fit received an enforcement order from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), requiring it to pull its products from sale and distribution.
All batches of Miss Fit Skinny Tea, Miss Fit Skinny Tea Max, Miss Fit Slimming Coffee 14 Day Fat Burning Instant Coffee and Miss Fit Skinny Coffee Max were recalled due to “incorrect, misleading and ambiguous” labelling, according to the notice.
The company announced that it was appointing a liquidator last Friday and has scheduled a creditors meeting for 7 March.
Social media stigma
The company, which employed six staff, had a “massively loyal customer base”, according to owner and CEO Ruth Hetherington.
She told Fora that Miss Fit’s closure was unrelated to the FSAI order and was a result of a six-month downturn on the back of changing consumer tastes.
“The business genuinely took a downturn. It happened to be an unfortunate coincidence that the day before we liquidated was the day that the FSAI decided to go to the media,” she said.
Hetherington blamed “social media negativity” for scarring other so-called ‘tea-tox’ brands and “the whole weight-loss area”, which had a negative knock-on effect on Miss Fit.
There has been online controversy around social media influencers promoting diet products that were found to contain laxatives.
“We’re in business four years. We never used laxatives … It was a herbal tea that also contained a fibre called Glucomannan and an amino acid L-Carnitine,” Hetherington said.
The FSAI order noted that the names of the products that were ultimately recalled were “not an appropriate descriptive name” and were labelled as food supplements without satisfying the authority’s definition of such a product.
It concluded that the product’s labeling posed “significant non-compliance with food safety legislation and will or is likely to pose an unacceptable health risk to consumers”.
Hetherington said that she found the FSAI’s issues with the labelling “absurd” and claimed that other ‘detox’ brands using similar language have not been on the receiving end of a food safety order.
“I do hope going forward that they’ll police other brands the way they did with ours,” she said.
Hetherington said that she hopes to set up another business in the wake of Miss Fit Enterprises’ demise.
“I am an entrepreneur, I’ve always been that way. I’m not going to let one failed business knock me,” she said.