Weight Watchers renames itself to 'WW' as consumers want to be well, not to diet

Robert Ferris
Weight Watchers is changing its name — here's why

Weight Watchers is changing its name as consumers ditch diets for wellness.

The company, which has helped people watch their weight through assigning points to food and organizing meetings, is renaming itself "WW" to reflect to overall health. WW's new tagline is "Wellness that Works."

WW plans to launch a new app and a partnership with Headspace, a company that teaches meditation through an app. It's also starting a program called Wellness Wins, which rewards members for working toward healthier habits.

The shift follows the trend of consumers wanting to eat clean or be healthier rather than focus on their waistlines. It builds on WW's previous attempts to reinvent itself, such as the WW FreeStyle program, which it announced late last year and is more flexible than previous programs.

"So this has been part of an evolution of a journey to go from being undisputed leader in healthy eating for weight loss to much broader than that," CEO Mindy Grossman said Monday in an interview with CNBC's Becky Quick . "To truly be a partner to people in overall wellness — for what you eat, how you move, how your mind works — to support you and how you become part of a community."

Starting in December, WW members can find other people with similar experiences and goals, whether that's following a vegan diet or starting to exercise, and join them in what will be called Connect Groups. Community is a central component to WW's model, with the company holding more than 30,000 meetings every week, according to Grossman.

WW is also offering integration with Amazon 's Alexa and Google Assistant, and building a new online community for members. Its own food products will no longer contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives or colors, in keeping with its new brand image.

"People really need a partner to help them get healthy," Grossman said. "And what we want to do is help give them the tools, give them the community, give them the motivation and inspiration to be able to do that. And it's very important we can do that for all people. So not only will you be able to have a weight focus, if you want, you will be able to have a healthy habits focus and be able to get all the assets of support in how you want to live your healthiest life."

Oprah Winfrey joined WW three years ago, and the company has since added influencers like DJ Khaled , helping WW execute a resurgence. The company's shares have surged nearly 60 percent this year. In the past two years, they've skyrocketed about 570 percent.

WW's stock was up slightly Monday morning.

The rebrand could help WW maintain its recent success. Competition in the health and wellness space is fierce as ever, with new apps constantly sprouting up promising to help people change their lives, coupled with consumer preferences that aren't favorable to diet companies.