Weight Watchers Changes Name as It Shifts Mission

Marco Green
September 24, 2018

Weight Watchers really wants to let you know that it's not just a diet company - so much so that it's changing its name to WW.

Behind the relaunch is concern that the long-term effectiveness of diet plans is on the wane, while health and wellness are now in vogue. "As Weight Watchers becomes WW, I believe we will continue to inspire people not only to eat well, but to move more, connect with others and continue to experience the joys of a healthy life".

"That marque represents our heritage and history and what we are going forward", Grossman said. It is also working on a voice-activated version of its app that will enable subscribers to check their points using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Nevertheless, the 55-year-old firm - which until recently has seen its NYSE-listed shares steadily climb after tapping Oprah Winfrey as its spokeswoman in late 2015 - was cagey when questioned exactly what "WW" stands for.

Oprah stake in Weight Watchers has doubled to almost $92 million from $43 million. But the stock is still up almost 60% this year and has surged more than tenfold since Winfrey first bought her stake in the company almost three years ago. In the last quarterly report, Weight Watchers said sales were up almost 18% on the year before and operating profits up almost 30%.

Grossman says she is achieving her aim of broadening the appeal of Weight Watchers, beyond its heartland of 35-plus women.

The letters don't stand for "Weight Watchers", nor do they stand for "Wellness that Works", a slogan that the company has trademarked, Chief Executive Mindy Grossman said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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