Changes coming to Predator Nutrition

Changes coming to Predator Nutrition

Changes coming to Predator Nutrition

Predator Nutrition was founded way back in 2008, and as part of wanting to improve our service we had earmarked plans to build a new website in 2022. However, in the process of planning this it forced me to confront some uncomfortable truths which prompted my back to basics Instagram post on Xmas Eve as well as this subsequent post on Dec 29.

To understand what prompted those posts and how and why we intend to change course I want to offer you a glimpse into the founding of Predator Nutrition.

What Prompted me to set up Predator Nutrition?

I had spent more than a dozen years seeking knowledge of what would improve my personal performance as an athlete. As someone who’d spent years reading books from authors as diverse as Julius Vida, Charlie Francis, Lyle McDonald and Mel Siff, the UK fitness industry seemed to be miles behind the times, with many subscribing to outdated concepts of what a good diet and training program looked like.

Equally, the UK supplement industry was epitomised by the fact the best selling product had as its primary ingredient, dextrose, a simple sugar. When I looked across the pond at what US manufacturers were coming out with in the 2000’s, it was an easy decision for me to import the supplements I used myself despite the customs duties involved.

At the same time people would always ask me about how to gain muscle, or burn fat.[1] I used to tell them where I purchased from but nobody seemed to want to buy on the internet 15+ years ago so in the end I would wind up ordering it on their behalf and they’d pay me. I remember working at one place where half the women working there ended up buying a US manufactured fat burner called Vasopro and pretty quickly I realised that I had the opportunity to focus my career on what had always been my passion.

Predator Nutrition – The Early Years

This then was how Predator was conceived, to go past what customers say they want and instead give customers what they actually want - products that built muscle, improved performance and helped to burn fat.

It was a risky bet I was taking looking back, because it would have been much easier and profitable to sell them brands and products they were familiar with but instead I gambled that we could educate them to try unknown brands and products and, in the process, secure their long term custom by giving them products that actually worked.

I also committed to outwork anyone else, a mantra I live by to this day. At the time it was normal for UK retailers to stop shipping orders at around 3pm. Whereas I insisted we ship every order that came in all the way up to 6pm, often picking, packing and then driving customers’ orders to the distribution centre myself. Similarly, without the advantages incumbents enjoyed, I would work late into the evening, handle customer questions on the weekend, even up until the early hours of the morning. My rationale was the same as Daley Thompson’s who made it a point of training twice as hard on Christmas Day as his competitors, because he knew none of them would train that day at all.

In a nutshell, we wanted to focus our offering on the best range of products for building muscle, burning fat and improving performance allied to the best service levels in the industry. This is what it looked like in practice at the beginning.

You can see that some of these products remain to this day. Looking at that list, there is little question in my mind we were delivering on our goal to deliver products that would deliver in terms of fat loss and muscle growth. Incidentally, Geranamine contained the same active ingredient in Jack3d but preceded the release of Jack3d by a few months. Innovating was and remains the lifeblood of what we do.

Challenging Times

One thing I had not known before setting up Predator was that there was a very cosy relationship between the major UK brands and five established retailers which worked very well for them (they had less competition/higher margins) but ensured higher prices and less choice for consumers. Many brands adopted strategies intended to cut supply to newer entrants[2] to the market (any retailer who entered the market around the same time as us will attest to this) so to an extent we had to seek new opportunities to enable us to compete.

Back to the Uncomfortable Truths

As part of the planned rebuild of our website I mentioned at the beginning, we recently hired a creative agency, whose ostensible purpose was to overhaul our visual look. However, as part of the work, we had to first provide them some details on what Predator stands for. You have probably seen some supplement companies rebrand every couple of years and I always viewed those that did as ones who did not really stand for anything except perhaps, trying to appeal to as many people as possible.

I knew it would never work for an agency to state they think Predator is perceived as X, and their research suggests the audience is looking for Y. Instead, I told them that I would explain what Predator stood for and they could then produce creative outputs based on that.

However, this is what prompted me to pause as it became clear to everyone that there was a massive disconnect between what I wanted us to represent (and what we did stand for in the early years) versus how we were perceived now. For example, while we had once highlighted issues such as how consumers were being ripped off by some protein powder manufacturers as well as helping to highlight and ultimately bust a huge counterfeiting operation this type of content had been replaced by some truly godawful stuff that could not be further away from what we should be doing (sorry to the DC Comics fans!).

These are just a few examples of many where you can expect to see a renewed focus on the areas where we think we should be adding more value, enabling customers to make better informed decisions, improving the offer not just in terms of products but across every thing we do even if it sometimes means pointing out certain issues which not everyone will appreciate us highlighting.

I will write more on this topic in the next post in this series where I will give you an inside view of how to look through how information is presented on labels, ways that give a perception that some brands are giving you a great deal on a particular product, but which, upon closer inspection, turn out to be anything but. Unfortunately, this is a common issue which I can see from personally dealing with customers, so rather than explain the issues on a 1-2-1 basis I will lay it out openly so everyone can see and learn from it.

[1] I had always looked at those as secondary to athletic performance and I will down the line point out the issues I see in most bodybuilding training programs including adherence to a particular concept which is the biggest reason so many people stagnate especially if they are natural. Quite simply, bodybuilding training based around this fundamental flaw will always cause you to plateau.

[2] Ironically, we were told to stop selling one brand whose protein powder (which had claimed to be 80% protein) had failed to meet that claim in a lab analysis and had actually had double the sugar content and only around 72% protein. Given the issues we encountered, it only served to harden our resolve to focus our attention elsewhere.