It’s safe to say that protein powder hasn’t been on most people’s pandemic shopping lists. With gyms recently reopening, we thought it would be a good idea to talk to a protein powder company about their pandemic experience. Suppy is an online protein powder brand that offers 100% Canadian grass-fed Whey protein in resealable and easy-to-carry bags. We sat down with Suppy Co-founders Thomas Honor and Logan Moore to discuss their business.
Where did the idea come from?
“We wanted to start Suppy because we saw stores like GNC and Popeyes and we saw protein powder in there that all looked the same. It didn’t look like something we wanted to take. It was big, it was round, it didn’t make sense to ship, and we knew that protein powder was transitioning to become more available online, and we thought there would be a better way to do it.” Said Thomas.
What makes you different from your competitors?
“I think one of the biggest differences is that we pride ourselves on simplicity. In a world where it’s Amazon and GNC with endless options, but all of the options look the same. You got three or four different protein types and ten to fifteen different flavour options, and three to five different skews. There’s many choices and it’s kind of a daunting industry where’s there’s not really a ton of expertise or guidance in terms of what’s right and what’s the best. So we’ve really kind of taken a simplified approach where we’ve got the highest quality Canadian protein powder in two simple options, chocolate, and vanilla, and just make it easy for people to decide what they want.” Said Thomas.
How Has The Pandemic affected your business?
“Yeah, so it’s interesting. When we saw a dip in sales, people were scared and stopped going to the gym. People take protein powder when they go to the gym, and so as people transitioned to working out from home, people were taking less of it. As the pandemic progressed and things started to open, and as people started to take home fitness more seriously, we actually saw an increase in sales which has been good. Specifically, after the new year in late January and early December, we saw another bit of an uptick and hopefully, we’ll see better things in spring.” Said Thomas
What have you done to adapt?
“I think that the toughest part was that when the pandemic hit obviously everybody was very concerned about going into stores, so from an operations standpoint, we tried to limit how often we were shipping out just to make sure that people weren’t getting in contact when they didn’t have to be. In the beginning, we brought down how often we shipped out, but as we figured things out, we’re focusing a bit more on that more and trying to get people their protein powder a bit more since they don’t want to go to stores.” Said, Logan
What are your hopes for the future?
“I think obviously everyone’s hoping the pandemic being over and getting back into the gym safely is a huge priority for us. We’d love to grow into other skews and product offerings; right now we’ve only got protein powder. The pandemic has shown us the importance of taking care of yourself, getting the right supplements and vitamins to correct your immune system, and staying hydrated that sort of stuff. We’d love to help Canadians have a full and comprehensive suite of supplements that they need to stay healthy.” Said Thomas
The fitness industry is one of the more interesting ones hit during the pandemic. In the beginning, it was next to impossible to find equipment that wasn’t insanely overpriced. On the other hand, other fitness industry aspects like gyms and personal training were hit hard. As Thomas said protein powder sales took a dip during the start of the pandemic but have slowly risen since people have started to workout from home more seriously. As gyms begin to reopen across the country, it is expected that the sale of protein powder will return to pre-pandemic levels or even beyond that.
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