Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jean Nidetch

Today we honor Jean Nidetch (born 1923) for taking a simple idea and creating vast wealth through the creation of Weight Watchers. As an overweight Brooklyn housewife, Nidetch found that the only thing that helped her stay motivated to keep watching her weight was a support group of friends. She took this simple concept and turned it into a company that is a global phenomena.

In 1963, Nidetch took her idea to the masses. Several websites claim that Nidetch's first meeting in Queens, NY overwhelmed her with more than 400 people showing up without formal advertising. In less than a decade, Weight Watchers had over 102 franchises throughout the world. During the 1960s, Nidetch started marketing food through Weight Watchers as well. This helped expand Weight Watchers from just a support group to a highly recognizable brand name.

In the late 1970s, Weight Watchers was bought out by the Heinz company, which still produces much of the prepacked food under the Weight Watchers brand. In 2001, Weight Watchers went public and trades at the New York Stock Exchange. Today Weight Watchers has a market cap of just under $2 Billion and has a worldwide presence.

We honor Jean Nidetch for taking a simple idea and turning it into great wealth for many people. With the creation of Weight Watchers, she helped generate monetary wealth and the immeasureable wealth of people achieving their goal weights.

Jean Nidetch on Wikipedia
Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers History
Yahoo Finance Information for Weight Watchers

3 comments:

wriggles said...

Yes, she's an absolute hero of capitalism in the sense that she took non existent product and made a fortune out of it.

But, dieting is communistic, and fails for the same reasons that communism fails.

I just find that a bit of an irony.

Deborah said...

You presume that it always fails.

I'm a successful WW lifetime member. I know, and know of, quite a few others. Jean herself was the first WW Lifetime member.

I also can't quite understand the "dieting is communistic" remark. Communism is a societal order by which the people (as personified by the state) hold the means of production. This has nothing whatsoever to do with weight control, dieting, or the WW program.

Danielle said...

Well said Deborah. I joined weight watchers about 3 months ago and am now 30 lbs lighter! Weight watchers is not a dies wriggles, it is simply a plan that teaches you how to eat.