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Weight Watchers’ – New Beyond The Scale Program Launched

Dec. 7, 2015 – Weight Watchers today launched its new Beyond The Scale program, getting an early jump on the new diet season. This is about a week or two earlier than last year’s diet season launch.

According to the firm’s press release, the new program includes:

  • New SmartPoints™ plan to make healthy eating simple: The new system delivers weight loss while using the latest nutritional science to go beyond both calories and the previous Weight Watchers PointsPlus system. SmartPoints is the plan Oprah Winfrey has been using to lose weight and eat healthier since she became a member in August.
  • New fitness approach that fits a busy life: Members receive personalized activity goals and have access to the new FitBreak by Weight Watchers™ app, which helps turn moments of downtime into up time.
  • A personalized program that serves each member’s lifestyle, goals and challenges: Based on an assessment, members get daily and weeklySmartPoints targets, personalized activity goals and relevant content designed to help find and fuel inner strength.

“We’re meeting members where they are today, inspiring and guiding healthier choices not only to lose weight but realize benefits that go beyond just the number on the scale,” said Jim Chambers, President and CEO, Weight Watchers International, Inc. “Beyond the Scale delivers more ways than ever for you to personalize your program, define your success, and guide you on your road to healthier living.”

“With SmartPoints, we’re delivering weight loss results while nudging members toward an eating pattern that includes more lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and less sugar and saturated fat.”

The Beyond the Scale program begins with a personal assessment that captures information about the member’s lifestyle, goals and challenges. Based on the assessment, each member gets a personalized program that includes daily and weekly SmartPoints targets, a personalized activity goal, and content tailored to their unique needs.

The new Beyond the Scale program is delivered and amplified through:

Connect, a new social tool that ensures the power of the Weight Watchers community is always in the palm of your hand.

A refreshed meeting experience, with a sharpened focus on members’ goals on and off the scale, a more motivating and social environment, and more holistic content.

Marketdata Commentary

This is the biggest innovation in the firm’s program in years? Is that all there is? The company is taking a more holistic approach, putting less (or no) focus on the word “diet”, has slightly tweaked their Points system, and launched a new fitness app. Is that really a major innovation? We don’t think so. This is nothing compelling. Bottom line–the program still relies on group meetings and weight-ins, and Points, and basically ignores that there are different dieter groups out there. As for fitness, consumers already have plenty of options (Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, other apps, walking groups, YMCA, gyms, etc.). Do they really need another fitness app? Any new retail partners? No. Any special plans for overweight Black and Hispanic women? No. For overweight teens? No. For women with hormone imbalances and food allergies? No. Anything to get younger dieters under age 35 into those meetings? No. Will Oprah be able to KEEP the weight off? We’ll see. It has been a challenge for her in the past. Sorry guys, we just don’t see a big change here. Another missed opportunity.

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