Remix Nutrition: An Experiment in Cross-Branding

by Christian Duque

When I first saw the name of this new partnership, I thought of Remax, a real estate company. The second thing that came to mind was music – remixes are quite common, especially of hit singles. Names are important when it comes to branding and when you have two companies as big as Bodybuilding.com and Hostess involved, you can rest assured that a great deal of time and money went into developing the best name, logo, and line possible. There is simply no question that a great number of gifted people were involved in this project from inception to execution; however, the name doesn’t really do it for me.

The concept is equally challenging, as what’s being sold is essentially a protein powder flavored with a food (if you can call it that) that’s part of the obesity problem in America. There are sweets out there that are high in sugar, high in fat, but may have some type of protein. Others may be rich in essential fats. Twinkies, however, have no real nutritional value. They’re delicious, they’re heavily marketed, and they’ve become part of our culture, but it’s a little strange to see a food devoid of anything useful to building muscle, being found in a product that’s aimed at doing just that.

Again, if flavoring is all it’s about, then great, but there has to be more than that to get these two giants involved. Who is this product being marketed to and how is it going to stand out? Just a couple article ago, I found myself contemplating just how many brands are currently in the marketplace. Is this type of concept what is needed to break from the pack, to really stand out? Will someone fiending for a twinkie have that desire met by having a twinkie-flavored protein drink? Will the Twinkie-buying market look at this protein powder with any real interest – or – is this product simply going to be patronized by people who basically eat, sleep, and dream training? And will this product be strictly online – or – will we see it in brick and mortar supplement shops? I have a lot of questions, to say the least.

Snack foods are everywhere – they have their own aisle, they get placed in the bread aisle as well, and in many grocery stores and convenience stores, you’ll find them by the checkout lanes, registers, and even by the doors – whether to get you before leave or to be the first thing you see upon entering. These items are usually loaded with sugar, devoid of protein or good fats, and nominally priced. Hostess cakes are usually not the cheapest so their customers probably wouldn’t scoff at paying $2-3 for a potential Remix bar or single portion unit for sale. You have to wonder though; if someone wants a Twinkie, do they even care about calories? If they don’t care about calories, is a Twinkie-flavored protein drink going to do it for them? The novelty here, though, is that the protein in question isn’t just flavored like a Twinkie but probably has Twinkie pieces in it.

We’ve seen this done before, with various name brand cookies. It’s definitely something for the muscle builder’s flavor pallet, but it’s hardly a novelty at this point. I, personally, doubt that anyone who eats snack foods will care about Remix Nutrition. I just don’t see enough allure. I could see where maybe fitness-minded people would want to try it, but how many companies are already taking a slice of that pie? The only athletes who actually use supplements are bodybuilding and/or strength related. All other athletes, primarily, rely on whole food for protein. They may love taking a wide array of other supplements, but protein powder is reserved largely for the bodybuilding crowd. Moreover, other athletes who do take in protein supplements, will want something that really delivers on the protein side.

For example, a cyclist, marathon runner, or football player may, in fact, want to buy a protein powder. Which do you think they’ll buy? A product Complete Protein RX by IronMag Labs which contains 10 different, clean protein sources – or – a protein with pieces of a snack food in it?

First and second quarter sales will more than likely decide whether or not Remix Nutrition survives. Who knows, maybe it’ll sell well. Bodybuilding.com knows the internet, they pioneered it so on that front they’d be fine to see some traction. If they went online-only, this would also limit them from some early losses. Perhaps that’s the tradeoff. Hostess signs off, lending its considerable good will and name-brand-recognition in exchange for Bodybuilding.com running with all the online sales. That’s a match that seems fair on both sides, with both companies working collectively on the marketing. They probably also split the tab with regards to the ingredients & there Bodybuilding.com could work out any number of deals, either with private label companies or companies going out of business (and there’s plenty of those).

Even if Remix sells, is it really going to be the start of the next empire, or is this simply a write-off? I’ve seen some really small companies “partnering up” (or so it appears) with mainstream name brand on products. The reality is, they may have simply paid for the rights to have the association with the company and its product in theirs, but there may not be any actual partnership to speak of. With regards to Bodybuilding.com and Hostess, I’d imagine there is a working relationship, but again, is this the beginning of an empire? I doubt it. I simply can’t imagine either company would seriously consider coming out with a full line of sports supplements, especially at a time like this?

What’s next Twinkie flavored creatine? Devil Dog pre, Ding Dong test booster, CBD infused Yodels? I’m just saying, I don’t see the collaboration going much farther than protein powder. Also, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin, no matter how deep your pockets are because too much variety, means too much product sitting in warehouses that may or may not sell. Whey-based products do expire, they also cost more to send (2lbs, 5lbs, etc). Finally, most companies in the industry take a loss when it comes to protein. Between the cost to make it, store it, and ship it, there’s not a lot left in profits. Also, because this is a new line, they will likely spend a considerable amount on marketing.

Despite the fact we’re dealing with two giants, I just don’t see it. Do you? Will Remix be the next big thing? I’m a big proponent of new companies and the economy sure needs as much activity as possible; however, I just can’t imagine that bodybuilders will jump at a protein with Twinkies in it and I can’t imagine the few serious athletes in other sports who do use protein, will opt for this one over a product that combines ten clean protein sources in each serving.



 

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