In this the first topic of what I intend to be a insiders guide to the supplement / performance supplement industry I will provide no holds barred information from behind the scenes.
I want to openly state that I am NOT positioning my topics or positions with a pre set bias. I want to also state I have no intention of pulling punches on expressing my feelings. We have enough of that in the world today and the last think I wish to do is add another blog and podcast to line pile of worthless fodder available. Instead I will speak freely and when I feel necessary be very forward in my harshness.
I have (1) objective – Provide information that will benefit the end reader. period.
With that in mind here we go,
My first topic Uncoated will attempt to de mystify the protein bar category. I will break this into (4)installments and wrap up the series with a podcast and reveal of “whats next”.
So where to start. Ok, I Hate Protein bars. I always have and thats why I am the most unlikely person to of become so deeply involved and ultimately immersed in the subject.
To properly analyze the current landscape of this booming category I would first like to reflect back a bit. In the 1980s and 1990s Protein bars were considered a candy alternative and really nothing that dynamically made a impact. The players were brands such as Powerbar, PR Ironman, Tigers Milk, Balance to name a few of the more popular brands. The common theme was “convenience” in a pinch. I avoided these products like the plague.
In the Late 1990s and early 2000s came the dawn of more targeted nutrition bars geared towards high Protein, and lower carbohydrates and sales exploded with Atkins, Detour, Supreme Protein bar , Pure Protein and many new comers boasting next generation specs and decadent taste profiles. Unfortunately all at a cost, Dirty ingredients, hydrogenated oils, Sugar alcohols (in excess) , cheap denatured proteins and very lengthy ingredient panels. Truthfully sales did explode which gave a hint to the possible future.
The dilemma of the 2000s was simple a choice
Organic , natural ingredients however loaded with sugar and inferior protein ( If any added at all)
Performance Macro profiles as a cost of junk processed ingredients, sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, just not a feel good scenario.
So the category grew despite the lackluster offerings.
The need for portable, convenience drove many to buy. I myself even would consume the occasional EAS Myoplex Deluxe bar ( Chocolate Peanut butter which honestly tasted good and featured quality protein blend ( best of the time) but also so much sugar my teeth would hurt.
Rather than go down the rabbit hole and do a historical article which honestly serves no purpose other than to make illustration of my years in this game I will fast forward to what is significant.
It was 2010 and I was hearing constant mention of a passionate group of industry “Outsiders” , a new brand and STORY. The STORY was giving us all the product we wanted but did not think we could have. The brand was Quest Nutrition and the product the Quest Protein bar. I stumbled onto my first Quest bar in my travels in northern New Jersey and still remember like it was yesterday. The flavor was Peanut Butter supreme, I remember flipping the label and seeing the great macros, the remarkable tag line “They said it couldn’t be done” brilliant! The taste – clean, tasty, and then the ingredient panel – short- the only negative was the addition of sucrolose ( a artificial sweetener I and many avoid ).
What happens next, I became part of the Quest early brand direction team. I was extremely proud and passionate about launching and building the narrative to the natural products consumer through our all natural initiative.
I will openly state that the time I spend with Quest and the relationships I forged are priceless to me. However in 2014 I made the difficult decision to move on. I simply believed then as I believe now that Remarkable doesn’t scale to Ubiquity. Mass is not special.
So here I am. As I write this I am aware that my involvement means I absolutely am not without bias. I also realize that I understand this space very well and will simply do my best to direct you the potential consumer towards making your best choice.
In todays marketplace there is a very uninspiring theme of creating a commoditized knock off, dress it up, fund it and hope to pull some marketshare. These are simply JUNK offerings and I will dig into details in part II.
I will not name names. I will instead give my buyers guide that will hopefully help with making the best decision.
I will expose the things to look for- good and bad.
In part III I will call out some small and remarkable brands/stories and why they are so special.
and Finally In Part IV Ill talk about whats next, what we need and sum it all in my T2 Experiment podcast.
Please feel free to ask me to include anything you wish answered also
I am missing many and I will hopefully add many many others I my journey continues
How have I changed?
I have changed in my #Mindset. Learning every day. Trusting the process more everyday day. Respecting it.
I have evolved
Its left me with that deep understanding that there is MORE I must do
That Products are not remarkable, a True Story filled with #Generosity (for the right reasons) and #Empathy is.
A Story that ultimately tells us WHY you do what you do
and more importantly WHY we should care?
A sense of security that we cannot be everything to everyone and thats actually a pretty great way to be
Its as Zig Ziglar stated and I respectfully repeat daily “Be a meaningful specific, not a wandering generality”
Be a meaningful specific…Matter More, Care More, People DO MATTER
Wake up happy to engage with your Tribe
Live by the mantra Seth Godin states “People Like US do things like THIS” but unlike all the manipulators- MEAN IT DAMN IT!
Going through the #altMBA was eye opening for me and life altering, its really and truly NOT about added features or “Widgets” and its 100% Not about Price manipulations
Its about Mattering to someone dearly and learning how to matter more – showing you care
It brings me back to the manifesto and how this all ties in ( sloppily at times however Im a work in progress…on my way…striving towards that ultimate goal of Virtue)
I LOVE the industries I am in
I LOVE what I do
I HATE, DESPISE, have absolute DISDAIN for the manipulative manner brands position themselves…Its almost as disgusting as #politics
I simply don’t get it
So I feel its my right and responsibility to do my part, my part and not directly for personal gain. I hope that doing the right thing creates a new movement and if I benefit from that- awesome!
Here are the Problems I see
Brands are created out of one sole vision- Money, Grow, Sell. Thats Fine by business standards but we need more.
Brands Create “touchy feely” story based on Spin. A Truthful story as to WHY you do what you do matters. “People don’t buy what you do they buy WHY you do it” Simon Sinek . A brand can create a illusion however eventually they will slip, mis a detail and then we will know its a manipulation NOT a Story.
Brands are created for the Mass- Think about it. Whats so special about mass produced, commoditized goods? In the Natural/sports nutrition industries commodity we have too much of. Give us the “outliers” the “Fringe” “small Batch”
Brands Broadcast they don’t engage- why? you guessed it, they do not care
Brands don’t understand #Remarkable often doesn’t SCALE…
Sales teams Bastardize Science- I can promise that whats coming will be very Unpopular with these folks and embraced by the victims of the lies.
Consider this a sort of Project Veritas of the Natural Products/ Sports Nutrition industries
How? Who? What? Ok, Ok
This will NOT be funded by any Brand or entity.
It will reside here on the T2 Experiment and I will also make content available on high profile industry vehicles
etc ( any favorites- please email me TommasoSalvatore1215@Gmail.com)
also feel free to email me
Topics / categories of interest
people/ thought leaders of interest
anything you would like considered, I am honestly doing this for you
What a odd title. The former Natural channel director evoking my old brand.
Yes. I feel it necessary.
Any of you that know me know I am consumed with unbridled passion towards the Remarkable, forward moving, doing better than they say efforts especially in relation to my career.
My time at the Q was eye opening and honestly empowering. Why did I leave? Honestly, because it was time. I have a entrepreneurial fire and desire to create not work – that’s not a bad thing!
My friends keep killing it on the Q vs metabolic disease ( a passion which I 100% share).
The difference is Ubiquity. I witnessed the “Tipping Point” the success and the drifting from early adopters/ the Core to the everyday masses. That is success. However that’s not me.
So what is the “In Defense” mean? Ok. So since Q, I have seen all too much of what is in the market today. Q remains special because it was born out of integrity. Born out of passion. There are now dozens upon dozens of copycats that quite honestly are very unimpressive and uninspiring. The mission has nothing to do with YOU or your goals and lifestyle. The vision is stealing marketshare. The ugliness of the market.
Secret is that all of these knock offs are produced by contract manufacturers and often are the same products in different brands labels.
Really inspiring huh? Sigh. 😞
Ok ok. Enough- what’s my angle? What’s my horse in the race? Hmmm
So after completely giving up on the functional foods category and anyone doing something #Remarkable , I met a amazing team of artists – food artists based in San Diego.
Our relationship was initially was heartfelt dialogue of what ifs, and wouldn’t it be amazing if moments….
And then it got REAL 😊….”What If became WHY NOT!”
11 months later, full of ingredients, tasting and testing and the absolute most stringent transparency standards BHU FOODS was born!
BHU is not for everyone. BHU IS PASSIONATELY TREMBLING IN EXCITEMENT FOR SOMEONE!
For the ignored and the forgotten.
For US. FOR ME. 3 divisions with one mission. The absolute purist ingredients, the absolute most arduous transparency. Open door always. Everything wide open.
Doing everything absolutely right.
The 3 divisions
Paleo BHU Fit- free range egg whites, organic ingredients and the best and most decadent double chocolate protein bar period. No sugar alcohols. No artificial sweeteners. Non GMO project verified. Sustainable certified Palm oil. Every ingredient Artisanal.
Primal BHU fit- local California Grass a Fed Whey Protein fueled. Simple ingredient list. All the absolute finest ingredients with zero comprising EVER. 3 flavors
-dark chocolate +Coconut+Almond
– Salted Caramel + Sea salt+ Pecan
– Madagascar Vanilla+ cashew+ Almond
Vegan BHU fit – lowest carb/ USDA Organic/ NON GMO verified and totally sustainable certified. The only!
We hope others get the hint – Vegans want premium ingredients- Vegans want decadence without Sugar or JUNK.
– Apple + Cinnamon+ nutmeg
– dark chocolate + tart Cherry + Pistachio
– peanut butter dark chocolate chip-
COMING SOON WE WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!
PEANUT BUTTER + WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP ( VEGAN / USDA ORGANIC / NON GMO)
And we are Just getting started….BHU Paleo treats ( after 1 1/2 years r&d)