The Dirtiest Secret In The Supplement Industry
We have to start this article off by stating there are a LOT of dirty secrets the supplement industry has. A little over a year ago many of the class action lawsuits began for amino spiking and a lot of major brands had to reformulate because of this. While it was “legal” within the FDA guidelines, it was still misinforming the customer. When that happened, James actually put up a “shelf of shame” in his store to exploit the companies cheating both retailers and end users. This article isn’t about that, but this did have an affect on the supplement industry moving forward.
After a few years in the business, we hear it all the time “I heard that brand is Sh*#”. In some cases, the consumer is
right but often times they are largely misinformed. Our favorite is when customers ask if Optimum Nutrition is a poor quality company. Optimum Nutrition is owned by the largest company in supplements, which makes them one of the most tested products within our industry. They’re not the one lying to consumers. So why are companies slandering them to put them down? MONEY. You see, when the major companies started cutting corners to increase profits the consumer lost faith in the big brands, which we understand. When private retailers found an opportunity to put down the #1 brand in supplements, they did.
You’re probably asking why, right? We’re getting there…
The retailer tends to shy away from the larger (good) brands because the bigger the brand, the more brand recognition they have, which for their company means more costs and for retailers, that means a more expensive product in comparison to what they can charge for it (smaller profits). You see, we (retailers) can choose xyz brand that you’ve never heard of and make significantly more money on it than the name brand product. Although the xyz brand may be of lesser quality, there isn’t any information available on it, no lab testing (it’s too expensive for someone to have a no-name brand tested). Most importantly, a lot of these brands are barely sold online, which allows retailers to tout that their the best of the best and since they’re the “expert” you listen to them, thinking that $55 2lb protein is really worth the cost.
But wait, there’s more! One of the most common questions we get is our customers asking why we don’t make our own line. Here’s why we haven’t yet. While it’s a good business move to increase profits, it’s also double dipping. What product do you think (even us) a retailer would want to sell you if you came in? Of course their own! They’re making 3x as much on it! To add insult to injury, a large market of our industry is what we call private labeling. This means that it’s quite literally the same product of another brand, with a fresh new label and branding. We’ve seen it many times and it’s not “wrong” or “illegal” and we understand why it’s done, but we do believe it’s misleading to the consumer and costing the consumer extra money. So the next time you go to a supplement store and see some brands you don’t recognize, hold off for a bit. Do some research on the company and see what’s going on with them. See who owns them and if they’re a legitimate company or if it’s just another guy out to make a quick buck – like most.