Carl Seletz, Senior Vice President of International at GNC spoke with NuFFooDS Spectrum about his views on enhancing the sports nutrition ecosystem in India and plans for the company for 2019.
Please tell us about your partnerships with Guardian Healthcare.
Customers are always at the forefront of our minds here at GNC, and we take great pride in providing them with innovative solutions for their wellness regimen. Our partners at Guardian Healthcare share the same consumer-focused mindset and recognized an opportunity to better serve our global customers. GNC India is providing Indian consumers with authentic GNC products with the best quality, potency, and purity while remaining cognizant of cost.
What is the company's current hold on the fitness supplement market in India? Are you facing any challenges?
Currently, sports nutrition products make up more than 30 percent of the GNC assortment in India. In an effort to aid our success and continue to stay competitive in the growing market, we successfully launched a local manufacturing initiative to produce sports nutrition products at a competitive price, which has allowed GNC India to expand its sports nutrition assortment. Because we have forged partnerships with sports nutrition stores and gyms, we can now begin to shift our focus to marketing brands like Beyond Raw to reach our fitness-focused target customer. Influencers like John Abraham have been invaluable in increasing awareness of brands and products as well as breaking into different channels—especially gyms with personal trainer outreach.
Which are the major products available in the Indian market?
Our top-selling GNC brand targeting the fitness segment in 2018 was GNC AMP Gold Series.
GNC AMP 100% Whey Gold Advanced is GNC India’s #1 selling protein. Customers use this quality whey protein blend to support post-workout recovery and to boost their protein intake throughout the day to support their fitness routine.
AMP Gold Ultra Rush is our top selling pre-workout that helps customers feel energized and power through their training. AMP Gold BCAA (Blue Raspberry) is the top-selling amino acid product.
All three of these products are part of our AMP Gold Series brand. This is a brand that was built to provide customers with the same quality and efficacy that’s typically synonymous with well-known brands but at an attractive price. It’s a great brand for both new and seasoned sports supplement users. It’s our top-selling sports and performance brand internationally. AMP Gold Series will expand in 2019 with new products, which we fully expect to be just as successful as Whey Gold Advanced, Ultra Rush, and Gold BCAA—in India and around the world.
We launched BodyDynamix in 2018 for customers seeking a weight management solution, and Beyond Raw for those seeking GNC’s most scientifically advanced sports nutrition products. Both of these brands represent some of our most “cutting edge” products.
BodyDynamix includes Slimvance, an herbal ingredient that’s been clinically proven to help users lose up to six times the weight and three times the inches from their waist and hips. It has been our top-selling product since its launch in early 2018. Any customer looking to achieve quick and real results would be satisfied with our BodyDynamix brand.
The same can be said about Beyond Raw. This brand was built for the dedicated, serious athlete. What makes it truly unique in comparison to other sports and performance brands is three-fold—efficacious and proven ingredients, unique flavors, and the ability to customize using Beyond Raw Chemistry Lab products. Other brands cannot make this claim. We expect Beyond Raw to be as successful in India as it is elsewhere around the world.
In addition, foundational products like Mega Men and Women’s Ultra Mega and GNC Fish Oils continue to sell well across segments. These products are essential components of any fitness regimen.
Are you planning to launch any new ones?
We plan to expand our sports nutrition line-up with new products targeting the endurance athlete. Stay tuned!
What are your views on enhancing the sports nutrition ecosystem in India?
Sports nutrition is a relatively nascent category in India. There is a need to bust myths around sports nutrition by creating awareness and education about supplementation. Guardian Healthcare and GNC are working together to achieve this by working with trainers, nutritionists, and sports federations.
What are the company's major plans for 2019?
GNC India will continue to expand its presence with new products and by leveraging multiple channels—such as franchise stores, stand-alone supplement outlets, large pharmacy chains, relevant modern retail, and, finally, e-commerce.