Weight Watchers announced it will be changing its company name to WW in an effort to rebrand itself as a wellness company, as consumers today are focused on overall health rather than dieting. The new tagline is “Wellness that Works.”
According to CNBC, the weight loss giant plans to launch a new app that partners with Headspace, a popular meditation app, as well as launching a new program called “Wellness Wins” that rewards members for adopting healthier habits. They have also decided to remove all artificial ingredients from WW foods, including artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
WW will also be adding FitPoints to personalize the activity tracking system for each member, rewarding "high intensity and strength training" more than before in an acknowledgment that "100 calories burned walking is not the same as 100 calories burned lifting weights or running," WW told USA Today.
WW is focusing its attention on technology, offering integration with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, according to CNBC. And starting in December, customers can find other people over the WW app in “Connect Groups,” based on their personal goals. The online community builds on the in-person weekly meetings that have been part of the company’s program for a long time. Weight Watchers says that it holds more than 30,000 weekly meetings, which makes this component of the app especially relevant to users who want to remain engaged and connected.
Weight Watchers has been steadily moving in the wellness direction, first by changing the point system to be more adaptable to different lifestyles and emphasize healthy eating habits. The new Freestyle Points program allowed for unlimited fruits and vegetables, and more flexibility with assigning points.
Weight Watchers has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, thanks to the celebrity endorsement from Oprah Winfrey. The company’s stock surged soon after she announced her partnership and stock buy in 2015, and she introduced a new clientele to the program. DJ Khaled has also partnered as an influencer in recent months.
"…this has been part of an evolution of a journey to go from being undisputed leader in healthy eating for weight loss to much broader than that," CEO Mindy Grossman said in an interview with CNBC. "To truly be a partner to people in overall wellness — for what you eat, how you move, how your mind works — to support you and how you become part of a community."