You probably know someone who has “done” Weight Watchers. Founded in 1963 by homemaker Jean Nidetch, the company has been driven by its goal to help members lose weight by managing their calorie in-take, encouraging exercise and providing a network of support through meetings and later, a digital app. Currently boasting Oprah Winfrey as a board member and investor, the company made the decision to rebrand to “WW” in September 2018. WW has made the shift from focusing on weight loss to broadening its umbrella to include a range of health and wellness aspects as a way to evolve with its users. “Doing” Weight Watchers is no longer simply counting calories and trying to lose weight.
With newly appointed CEO and President Mindy Grossman, the brand accelerated its evolution in just a few short months. “I joined the company because I had a belief that this could be the brand to partner with people on their health journey, not just around weight,” Grossman says. With the introduction of WW, the brand has implemented several programs meant to cater to a person’s specific lifestyle and goals. WW Freestyle Program (currently backed by DJ Khaled), WW Healthy Kitchen, WW Cruise, WW Good, Wellness Wins (a new rewards program focusing on forming healthy habits) and WW x Headspace all focus on the many ways one can improve their overall well being.
“For people to have a wellness journey that is sustainable, you have to have a 360-degree approach. You want community, the right mindset; you want to understand what activity is best for you and what it means to eat healthier. It’s an ecosystem,” Grossman says of the range of products and options WW is unveiling.
Another new face for WW, Chief Brand Officer Gail Tifford, says that since joining the company in mid-2018, her goal has remained to serve the people who are using WW and to help them find the potential to live their best lives. One of the most exciting changes for WW, Tifford says, is the partnership with Headspace, a global leader in meditation and mindfulness.
“I think wellness for me is about what you put into your body, how you move your body and how your mind supports that,” she says. By partnering with Headspace, members are able to tap into tools and techniques that can lead to mental happiness and positivity, making getting healthy a little easier. Tifford adds that if you don’t have the right mindset or mental space, achieving your goals may be more challenging, no matter where in your journey you are. “People rethink their approach to health when they have life events such as a divorce, a birthday or wedding,” she says. As members go through their lives and find new motivations, WW is prepared to be there to help empower and help. Grossman adds to this saying, “Wellness has no beginning, middle or end. It is an ongoing journey that evolves. And just as you evolve through your life, a brand also evolves.”
With the unveiling of the new WW Freestyle Café Mediterranean menu with Cat Cora at the Barclays Center, WW is allowing members to go see a concert or game and not have to forgo healthy habits. With a full menu of tasty food and Cense wine, you are given the opportunity to continue on your journey while enjoying your life, no matter where it takes you.