Start a Diet
While I’m content with being festively plump, most people stare at their eggnog-fueled chub Jan. 1 and proceed to lose their minds. That said, “losing weight” is such a big resolution that I’m going to break it down a little. The first part: eating right.
Weight Watchers is something of a helping hand — members choose what they eat at home or in restaurants using a points-based system. Paid memberships offer access to interactive online tools, recipes, workout regimens and other features. Nutrisystem mostly relies on selling you its own specialized meals on a monthly basis, putting most of your diet in its hands.
I’ll cry if I have to hear Jennifer Hudson one more time, but WTW’s system is more flexible and thus should keep customers engaged for longer. Weight Watchers also is more put-together on the financial side — NTRI has been dogged by years of declining profits and will need to quit surprising on the downside if 2012’s earnings have any chance of topping 2011’s.
Diet plan providers won’t be the only beneficiaries. Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM), for instance, does cater to the organic crowd (which isn’t necessarily the same as the dieting crowd), but its selection of fresh seafood and meats, as well as produce, should be a huge draw for people who decide to eat out less and cook their own, healthier meals.
The same can be said for rival The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM). Both stocks are fairly frothy, but both have appealing growth potential. TFM has only about a third of the store count as WFM, though, so growth could be more brisk there.