NEW YORK — Weight Watchers International, Inc. will be removing artificial ingredients from all products carrying the Weight Watchers brand and attempting to increase revenue to more than $2 billion as part of its three-year goals to measure the company’s progress. News of the plans sent the company’s share price up more than 20% in trading on Feb. 7, to a 52-week high of $76.
“Our new purpose to inspire healthy habits for real life marks an important milestone in the evolution of Weight Watchers,” said Mindy Grossman, president and chief executive officer. “The bold initiatives we are announcing today to evolve our brand and broaden our impact will make Weight Watchers more relevant than ever, while demonstrating the power of community in advancing individual health and wellness goals. Members are embracing the livability and flexibility of our new WW Freestyle program and this enthusiastic response gives us confidence that we have the right strategies to increase our impact globally.”
Ms. Grossman said Weight Watchers has identified several goals it hopes to achieve by the end of 2020, including strengthening the company’s reputation, better defining and growing the company’s impact and expanding the company’s business.
Specifically, Weight Watchers said it aims to increase revenue to more than $2 billion by 2020, driven primarily by new member growth and improved retention, while increasing profit at a faster rate than revenue. In fiscal 2016, Weight Watchers generated sales of $1,164.9 million.
The company also intends to implement a number of initiatives to ensure its brands align with its values and purpose, including the removal of all artificial ingredients from Weight Watchers branded products. The company said it also plans to offer free memberships to teenagers aged 13 to 17 during the summer of 2018, a move designed to encourage healthy habits.
Earlier this month, Weight Watchers hired Gail Tifford as chief brand officer. In this role she will lead execution of the company’s vision in both physical and digital environments.