These Asda ready meals are being withdrawn from South Yorkshire shops after Slimming World row

Supermarket giant Asda is withdrawing a range of ready meals from stores after a disagreement with Slimming World.

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 8:04 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:58 am
Slimzone frozen ready meals - picture by Asda

The Slimzone ready meals, launched in January, included ingredients which were classed as "free" under the Slimming World diet plan.

But on Sunday a spokesman for the supermarket said it was removing the 12 meals from shelves after Slimming World bosses threatened legal action over the use of its 'Free' and 'Extra Easy' trademarks.

Slimming World said that Asda were trading on the back of the brand's reputation by "unlawfully" using their "much loved and much respected name and trade marks" on their meals.

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A spokesman for the supermarket said: "We take great pride in the integrity of the claims we make about our products.

"Recent information has come to light indicating that the method used by Slimming World to assess whether a ready meal is free or not, surprisingly, is partly subjective and involves more than simply making food with free ingredients.

"Slimzone was always intended to bring more choice and lower prices to customers shopping for healthy frozen ready meals but because of this new information, we have chosen to remove the range while we consider the best option for our customers."

Slimming World said that Asda's decision to withdraw the meals comes just before a court date hearing next week where they are seeking an injunction over the trademark.

A spokesperson said: "It’s always been our view that Asda were misusing our trademarks to promote the range, trading on the back of our much-loved and respected name and reputation, regardless of whether the meals count as Free Food on our healthy eating plan.

"It’s never been our intention to prevent Asda from selling healthy meals that help people lose weight – our concern has been about our trademarks, and we hope that Asda will be able to relaunch the range without relying on Slimming World’s trademarks or name."

The meal packs included a statement informing customers that the range was not endorsed by Slimming World.

Supermarket Iceland sells a range of ready meals which is endorsed by the diet plan.