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Weight Watchers changes name and shifts focus to wellness

The rebranding includes refresh of mobile app, and partnership with meditation company Headspace.
Weight Watchers
WW president and CEO Mindy Grossman on TODAY.Nathan Congleton/TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Weight Watchers International is trimming its name.

The company will become known as “WW” as it rebrands itself as a health and wellness organization that goes beyond weight loss.

"We will never abdicate our leadership in the best healthy eating program for weight loss in the world, but we can be so much more today," the company's president and chief executive, Mindy Grossman, said Monday on TODAY. "We can inspire people for healthy habits, to help them eat better, move better, use their mind to help support their efforts and really be about total wellness."

The change in a name synonymous with dieting also comes with a new tagline, “Wellness that Works,” intended to appeal to people who want to build healthy habits without necessarily focusing on weight loss.

The campaign to recast itself as a “technology experience company” includes a partnership announcement with Headspace, the popular meditation and mindfulness tool WW will incorporate into its updated mobile app beginning Oct. 4.

Weight Watchers
The new WW logo.Weight Watchers

Upcoming changes to the app include revisions to its FitPoints program and the December launch of “Connect Groups,” which will allow users to find other like-minded members to share tips based on specific interest areas such as foods (gluten-free, vegetarian), hobbies (travel, hiking), and physical activities (running, yoga, getting started).

"We’ve been evolving to this," Grossman said. "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."

The sweeping changes are the latest efforts by the company to seize the momentum it gained after media mogul Oprah Winfrey purchased a 10 percent stake in the company in 2015. In a news release WW issued with its announcement, Winfrey applauded the company’s shift to helping people interested in improving their overall health and lifestyle.

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"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 the 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."