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Canadian Natural Health Retailer Interview


1) In your opinion Cory, what is happening with the sports nutrition industry right now? Give us an update into the market both in Canada and the U.S.?

The U.S. market always leads the way, in terms of both product development and research. Canada follows, but thanks to Health Canada, on broken legs. Sports nutrition is going mainstream, but it still caters to natural athletes. Without them, the field wouldn’t exist, and because of them, the field continues to prosper. It’s the training that creates an interest in the product.

2) Is the sports nutrition market continuing to grow? Why or why not? Statistics on growth?

Of course it’s growing. How could it not when only 1-3% of the Canadian adult population currently trains (exercises) 5 days a week consistently, with the same commitment they have to their job. Imagine if you just decided for whatever reason, not to show up for work? Chances are you wouldn’t have a job the next day. Not so with exercise. If you don’t show up for a workout, who really cares? The point is that as we all continue to age chronologically, the effects of not training and maintaining health through fitness affects everyone negatively, regardless of gender, race, sexual preference, social status or income. And if anyone takes the time to learn what science has proven about exercise as a necessary human behavior, they soon discover that nothing conventional medicine has to offer is comparable to the multiple benefits of creating a stronger, leaner, fit-for-life body.

3) What can retailers expect in the future in terms of new products and trends?

95% of sport nutrition products are dedicated to building muscle (mostly for men) or reducing bodyfat (mostly for women). That’s the way it’s been for decades and that’s the way it will continue to be for decades. As long-term health begins to dominate the consciousness of athletes and the people who formulate and manufacture health products designed to enhance athletic performance, the products will change in terms of application. Product quality will also improve. Right now in the U.S. there is a marketing trend building towards the use of methoxyflavone (MX7) – an isoflavone that apparently decreases cortisol and improves protein synthesis.

4) What kind of changes have you seen in the sports nutrition market over the years?

The market has increased in size, dimension and product range. The number of distributors at the health shows has quadrupled. Mainstream wholesalers are also jumping on the bandwagon. You can find whey protein and creatine everywhere now – in drugstores, COSTCO and WAL-MART. Problem is hardly anyone selling the stuff takes it or knows how to use it correctly.

5) What advice can you offer retailers in order to be successful in this market?

Get fit, get fit, get fit! Attend educational seminars, study relevant journals, use the resources of the internet, read good quality fitness magazines and sign up for the new CSNA Education Program. Owners need to hire competent men & women who know the field because they train, take the products and study continuously to upgrade their product knowledge. Everyone involved in sales & service should also be professionally trained in the art of sales & service.

6) What are consumers asking for in sports nutrition products? Who are these consumers – demographics?

Generally speaking, consumers who ask for a specific product are those who are prompted to ask because they read something of interest in a muscle magazine or in a new sports book published in America. The reason they read is because they workout. It’s that simple. Then the retailer has to get into that whole product thing with the presold customer. Hundreds of retail hours are wasted trying to explain why we can’t carry the products they want and why they’re not available in Canada yet legal in the States. Sports nutrition and our economy are unnecessarily sabotaged by Health Canada’s outdated and bias legislation. If their policies were based on science instead of politics, we would have true health care freedom in Canada!
Canadian Natural Health Retailer is a trade magazine focusing on the business of natural health product retailing in Canada. To find out more about CNHR, phone (416) 614-8886 or email CNHR@IDIRECT.COM