This past week I bought 5 lbs. of custom protein powder mix from truenutrition.com. Protein powders, at the higher level, are definitely a “sell me” product (as Seth Godin would describe it) – if no pitch is made, if the company is not running good advertisements and promotions, no sale will possibly happen. This is quite different from “buy me” products such as bottled water or Pepsi where the vendor needs to simply set up a convenient shop and wait patiently for the customers.
Truenutrition.com has adopted a classic differentiation strategy for its products. In an industry riddled with bad glossy ads and “proprietary” blends that contain unregulated substances, truenutrition takes a lot of the gimmicks out of the equation. They sell just the ingredients, allowing people to combine different products and create any mix they want. There is no more black box of “super-secret recipe.” You can read the nutrition info and research every ingredient, allowing you to combine them in a custom mix that satisfies your nutritional and training needs. When I want to buy nutritional supplements I always go to truenutrition exactly because of their respect for the customer and guaranteed quality.
I didn’t have to jump through many hoops to make my purchase. Truenutrition allows you to save your favorite mixes, making it as easy as two clicks to reorder. At a price of $11.99 per pound, my mix is slightly more expensive than a typical protein powder bought at Costco (which comes to around $9.99 per pound). I don’t mind paying the premium, however, for two main reasons. First is quality of the product – everything from Truenutrition is wholesale material that often comes directly from the manufacturer and has no additives or dilution. Second is the great work truenutrition does for the strength sports community – the forums associated with the website are full of experienced and helpful athletes that dish out priceless advise, for free, daily. Furthermore, truenutrition sponsors some of the best strength athletes in the country and chooses wisely the people who get its stamp of approval. Overall, this is a great example of a business doing it right in a shady industry that is famous for bad ads and shameful PR.
While I wouldn’t mind paying less for my supplements, truenutrition’s easy interface and outstanding quality have made it my default go-to place for such purchases. People shouldn’t skimp on what they put in their bodies and the company and its owner, Dante, have done more for the weightlifting community in the U.S. than many of their competitors.