3 min read

In the ever-changing world of fitness, staying ahead of the curve isn’t easy. The best in the industry know it requires constant adaptation and a deep understanding of your audience. Universal Nutrition (UN), a pioneer in sports nutrition, has mastered this art. We sat down with some key players at UN to get the inside scoop on their journey, their approach to innovation, and how they stay connected to their diverse customer base.

Early Days: Riding the E-commerce Wave

Nowadays, selling on Amazon is commonplace for many brands. But who knew back then that selling on Amazon would be such a game-changer? “We were one of the first sports nutrition brands on Amazon. We just didn’t realize what Amazon was,” recalls Tim Tantum, Chief Sales Officer. This early embrace of e-commerce set the stage for UN’s adaptability. In the years to come, they would continue to navigate new solutions and diversify their distribution channels.

Connecting with Customers

The way Universal Nutrition interacts with its customers has transformed dramatically. Rudy Chego, Brand Partnerships Manager, highlights the shift from more traditional methods to a digital focus. The brands who have been in the business for decades remember the old-school days of brochures and mailers. But nowadays connecting with customers is an ever-changing game. “Now we’ve evolved across multiple channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and even TikTok,” he explains. Chego emphasizes the importance of understanding their audience: “Knowing who your customer is, understanding their wants, their needs, and just talking to them.” This focus on open communication allows UN to understand their evolving customer base and tailor their approach accordingly.

Adapting to a New Breed of Athlete

The fitness world isn’t what it used to be, and neither are UN’s products. Jad Khairallah, Senior VP of Marketing explains how their products are constantly adapting. “What you’re seeing in our portfolio is really changing…,” he says. He explains the transformation from their original product offerings to the desire to focus on formulas, flavors and adding value. UN’s commitment to their customer’s ever-changing needs keeps them on top of industry trends and innovative ingredients. He continues, “This is where NuLiv comes in. AstraGin® is such a beautiful story” and “Senactiv®– we’re seeing a lot of consumer receptivity towards it as well.” This shift reflects UN’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve and meeting the changing needs of their athletes.

The Power of Passion: It’s Not Just About the Gains

Tim Tantum believes the secret sauce to UN’s success is simple: staying true to their passion. UN hasn’t changed ownership and has kept the same deep-rooted passion for the industry throughout the decades. “We have the same ownership, and the same ownership wasn’t in the business to just make money and get out,” he says. This foundation of passion and commitment to the industry has been instrumental in driving the company forward.

Uncaging Your Inner Animal

“Animal” isn’t just a product line for UN – Jason Budsock, VP of Product explains. It is a cornerstone of Universal Nutrition’s identity. “Uncaging the animal inside of you… it’s about that mindset of persevering, pushing through hardships.” Budsock believes this mindset transcends athletic pursuits and is a major component of building a community. He envisions expanding this philosophy beyond the elite athlete, reaching out to the everyday person who strives to be their best.

Adapting and Thriving

Under visionary leadership, Universal Nutrition has proven its ability to adapt and thrive in a dynamic industry. UN has secured its place as a leader in sports nutrition, resonating with a growing and diverse community of athletes. Their journey has been marked by new technologies, diversifying their product offerings, and staying true to their core values. Their story is a testament to the power of passion and the importance of understanding your customer’s journey.

Universal Nutrition’s story is an inspiration for any business navigating a dynamic market. As the fitness landscape continues to evolve, UN is sure to remain a leader, providing innovative products and fostering a supportive community for athletes of all levels. 

For more information:

Animal Pak – www.animalpak.com

Universal Nutrition – www.universalnutrition.com

NuLiv Science – www.nulivscience.com

Watch the full video of our visit with Universal Nutrition here