Weight Watchers — the master of diet reinvention — is undergoing its own makeover. The 57-year-old company announced today it is changing its name to “WW” with a new focus beyond weight loss to “Wellness that works.”
As part of the rebranding efforts, the company announced a partnership with Headspace, the meditation app; WW’s popular mobile app will undergo a revamp on Oct. 4. The update extends to the company’s products, too. WW Healthy Kitchen will launch a new line of cookbooks and kitchen tools, and the brand will remove artificial sweeteners, coloring, flavoring and preservatives from its food items.
The move toward wellness is yet another chapter for a company that has transformed from weigh-ins in church basements to group meetings in the workplace. Lifetime members (with a coveted golden key for hitting goal weight) have seen the diet plan go through constant iterations — from an early focus on “exchanges” to “points” and from “quick success” to the current “freestyle” plan.
“We’ve been evolving to this,” said WW CEO Mindy Grossman on the Today Show. “And the reason why the business has been performing is that this idea of going from weight to wellness is more sustainable to people because we’re giving them more than just a short-term solution. What we want is to be a partner in health sustainably."
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who has been candid about her own weight loss struggles and notably bought 10 percent of the company in October 2015, supports the company’s new direction. “From the moment I chose to invest in the company and join the board, I have believed that the role WW can play in people's lives goes far beyond a number on the scale,” Winfrey said in a statement. “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."