The Protein Decision

You may not know it, but among suppliers, formulators and manufacturers, there are several events affecting the availability of high-quality whey protein.

I’m writing about it because it is about to affect our own whey protein in terms of availability and pricing.

First off, there is a global shortage of high quality whey protein.  You can google (global shortage of whey protein) and find lots of information.   I do not really know if this shortage is real or man-made (like the so-called oil shortage) whereby commodities speculators are the driving up the costs.

There is another “conspiracy theory” that contends the cost of high quality whey protein is being driven sky high in order to make room for other sources of protein such as soy, rice, pea and even hemp.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter.  The fact of the matter is that high-quality whey protein is at the highest prices in history.

Cost-Cutting in a Competitive Market

As a result of the short supply, pricing increases and other issues, manufacturers are faced with finding strategies to cut costs.

  • For example, one of the cost-cutting tactics is to import whey protein from Asia.  This practice has become quite controversial due to questionable quality control procedures, potential contamination during transport, exposure to heat and humidity, etc.
  • Another cost-saver is to manufacture huge batches (hundreds of thousands of jugs) and then store in temperature controlled facilities.  However, many experts argue that whey protein, even though processed, filtered and dried, may still act as though it’s biologically active and begin to degrade.  Proper storage will determine rate of degradation.  There are plenty of scientists who refute this claim so the debate is “hot and heavy!”
  • And, even if the whey protein remains stable, most whey protein formulas have other vitamins and nutrients mixed into the formula… and those “extras” may spoil or degrade much more quickly than the whey protein resulting in an inferior product — affecting taste, mix and uptake.
  • Some brands have significantly lowered the quality of their protein down to 50% whey concentrate.  This is less than ideal for athletes, fitness enthusiasts and active lifestyle adults.  It’s also dishonest if its being marketed as a “Sports Nutrition” formula.
  • Finally, there are cost-cutting manufacturing procedures such as increased line speed, non-filtration processes and environments where the protocol, itself, is legal, however, sub-par for a “Sports Nutrition” formula.

The New Formula / Decision

Recently, I was faced with these choices:

  • Discontinue our Whey Protein Formula
  • Lower the quality of the product formulation
  • Continue to produce a high-quality product at a higher cost

First off… #2 is never an option we consider for any of our products.  Period.  So, despite the supply shortage and price volatility, I decided to “bite the bullet” and continue with our new Whey Protein Formula.

The quality of our formula is of utmost importance since so many professional and amateur athletes use it (despite the fact they professionally endorse other brands).

Our relationships with trainers for pro teams and athletes requires all formulas be constantly assayed for label claim and banned substances at independent labs.  I tell people we are the most assayed supplement line on the planet!

It should go without saying that the most important reason for our obsession with quality is YOU.  Especially since you may be wrapping your name on this formula.   Your clients and members expect the absolute best from youas they should!

Our new Whey Protein Formula is not only a superior product, but mixes and tastes better than most.  This is because we take the extra steps to produce the highest quality formula possible.

  • For example, we retain a separate company to create our delicious flavorings of rich Dutch Processed Cocoa and Vanilla Creme (tastes like angel food cake).
  • We also take the extra step to include an “instantizer” to the powder.  That’s why you’ll notice the powder mixes so easily with milk or water and does not stick to the side of your glass … or get clumpy.
  • We continue to only produce short run batches… usually under 2,000 jugs – thus ensuring a consistently fresh product formula.
  • The whey protein is secured from a U.S. -based supplier in California and maintains no less than 80% quality level.
  • And now, for the first time, we are using STEVIA as a sweetener.

The pricing for this new formula is $34.99 per 2lb jug.
Suggested retail price is $49.99 – $61.99
Available starting May 29th.

While I realize this is a significant price increase, (and that we may lose some customers) we “price-checked” similar formulations and found it to be competitive.  Surprisingly, even less than some of the “designer whey protein” powders being marketed under the Sports Nutrition banner.

At the end of the day I simply refuse to compromise.  For me, personally, it’s either “game on” or not at all.