Weight management has always been part of mainstream health and lifestyle improvement conversations. But the increased acceleration of technology in the past few years has pushed it further to the forefront and made the ease of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight a stronger selling point for its brand.
For instance, the popularization of at-home workouts on video platforms like YouTube has encouraged Americans of all ages and backgrounds to make time for exercise and thus meet the CDC’s recommended levels for physical activity.
Meanwhile, in the realm of digital health and wellness services, WeightWatchers is recognized as a leader in weight loss and management. As per the US News and World Report’s panel of experts, WeightWatchers’ personalized diet ranks among the best diets for weight loss and overall health for 2023.
By streamlining its mobile app and website and making significant changes in its leadership and partnerships, WeightWatchers is poised to maintain its status as a key player in the weight loss industry this year. Here’s more about WeightWatchers and how it’s set to solidify its position in the market in the coming months.
A quick overview of WeightWatchers
In 2018, WeightWatchers rebranded to ‘WW’ to represent its holistic approach to health and fitness. Its unique selling point is signified by its personalized weight loss programs based on an individual’s weight, age, sex, health conditions, and other relevant demographic factors.
WeightWatchers’ subscription-based services are available via app and website. These services center on its patented PointsSystem that guides its users to track their food intake and portion sizes. The most recent iteration of WeightWatchers involves answering a quiz to access a customized meal plan, with a corresponding daily points allotment and a list of zero-point foods that users can eat without tracking or measuring.
Financial performance and adjustments
The pandemic and the subsequent decline of in-person activities was a major driver for WeightWatchers to adjust its core business model and shift towards digital services. While there was a downward trend in the membership of its physical workshop offerings, WeightWatchers’ positive financial turnaround relied on leveraging its digital segment.
The most recent earnings report from WeightWatchers, which details figures for the third quarter of the fiscal year 2022, reveals that its digital subscription model continues to generate a strong cash flow. At the end of Q3, WeightWatchers reported 3.8 million subscribers and a revenue of $249.7 million. There have been operating losses attributed to restructuring charges and foreign exchange, but the adjusted operating income has still exceeded the company’s prior financial expectations and projections.
Among the adjustments made by WeightWatchers to manage operating costs was simplifying its program and phasing out unnecessary assets, such as its in-app rewards program that was axed to instead push support and community at the forefront of its users’ weight loss journey.
Amid the competitive landscape of commercial weight management programs that encourage portion control and diet customization, WeightWatchers continues to target various audience segments by offering tiered subscription plans with varying levels of digital benefits and live coaching/support.
Strategic partnerships and leadership changes
In the past year, WeightWatchers has also been taking strategic and significant steps towards amplifying its influence as an industry leader. In particular, its collaboration with glucose monitoring device Abbott aims to provide a seamlessly integrated experience of weight loss and diabetes management. Since it takes the proper diet and nutrition to deal with the chronic symptoms of diabetes, WeightWatchers offers a diabetes-tailored food plan so patients can adopt healthy habits and improve their glucose levels.
Changes in WeightWatchers’ leadership structure also offer viable opportunities to reposition itself in the digital market. Amy O’Keefe left her role as the Chief Financial Officer last December, with Tiffany Stevenson set to take over the role starting this year. Stevenson aims to scale WeightWatchers’ digital transformation through a more data-informed and results-driven approach for the entire organization. That said, it’s clear that WeightWatchers has been implementing — and continues to implement — strategies that are helping it further cement its position as a leader in the weight loss industry.