Weight Watchers expanding ways to connect with clients

by Jeff Gelski
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 WWFlatout
Weight Watchers has partnered with Flatout.
 
NEW YORK – Weight Watchers International, Inc. in December 2015 launched Connect, which allows members to connect on the company’s mobile app. Connect led to Weight Watchers finding Flatout, a new brand partner.

Ryan
Ryan Nathan, vice president of products, and e-commerce for Weight Watchers

“That one actually came from Connect,” said Ryan Nathan, vice president of products, licensing and e-commerce for New York-based Weight Watchers. “It was a preponderance of members on there saying, ‘Look, I can use Flatout flatbread, Weight Watchers cheese and make a pizza for 3 or 4 SmartPoints. How great is that?’”

Weight Watchers executives reached out to Flatout. The Weight Watchers’ logo now appears on the packaging of Flatout flatbread, pizza crusts and wraps.

That was one example of how Weight Watchers listens to its members in choosing brand partners and creating its own new products.

 WWConnect
Weight Watchers Connect which allows members to connect on the company's mobile app.
 
Products may fit into Weight Watchers plans in three different ways, Nathan said. One way is members internally posting about foods that help them on their weight loss journey. Connect on average features more than 9,000 posts, 40,000 comments and 200,000 likes each day.

Weight Watchers tracking members every day is the second way. The company, to discover opportunities, collects data on what members consume.

“We have millions and millions and millions of records of what people are tracking every day,” Nathan said. “So, we can see very quickly the shift (in consumer buying patterns.)”

 WWHummus
Weight Watchers launched Weightwatchers popped sea salt hummus chips that contain chickpeas for those desiring gluten-free options.
 
The third way is market driven, or noticing consumer trends. Weight Watchers noticed the preponderance of gluten-free items mentioned by its members and then introduced Weightwatchers popped sea salt hummus chips that contain chickpeas. The gluten-free snacks have no artificial flavors or colors.

Skinny Pasta also fit into consumer trends and Weight Watchers’ plans. Skinny Pasta contains fiber-rich konjac and is available in such shapes as noodles and spaghetti. The product is free of sugar, gluten, fat and cholesterol.

Weight Watchers, a scientifically backed company, can look to more than a hundred clinical trials on weight loss, Nathan said.

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