Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA at the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, Twinlab director of marketing Marc Stover said the range will be launched in June.
He added: “This is going to be big for us.”
No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners
With no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives, no parabens in liquids, and no GMOs, the Clean Series range will have ‘gender neutral’ packaging and targets “athletes that want nutrition in sports nutrition, that don’t want to worry about what they are taking”.
The range – which will be targeted at the natural retail channel - will include a new veggie protein blend - a first for the company, an amino fuel product sweetened with stevia, a whey/casein blend, high-end whey isolates, pre-workout products and whey protein.
Veggie protein innovation
Formulations are still being tweaked, but the veggie blend might include a range of proteins from brown rice, pea, alfalfa and possibly canola, said Stover.
As for providing reassurances to consumers that the products will be free of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned substances, he said:
"We're exploring Informed Choice for batch testing of all Clean Series products for WADA banned substances and NSF for product cGMP testing and possibly also batch testing for banned substances.
"We already have a lot of 'clean' skus, but the Clean Series products will have strict third party certification, and it doesn't come cheap."
We want to show industry that we are back and we are listening
Twinlab’s new boss Tom Tolworthy - who took the helm last spring - now had his feet under the table and was spearheading a new strategy at the firm, said Stover.
“I’d say that at Expo West we’re starting to debut some of Tom’s vision. We want to develop areas where we can be leaders and demonstrate innovation to the industry.
“We want to show industry that we are back and we are listening.”
Another area of renewed focus was Twinlab’s bariatric support line for the 300,000 people undergoing bariatric (weight loss) surgery every year, he said.
“Yes, it’s an emerging niche, but that’s why we want to be in this space. We were hearing that people were recommending our liquid amino proteins for people in this situation, so it made sense to actively target this group. These people need a lifetime of supplementation.”
Meanwhile, the ‘DOTS’ range of smaller supplements was also being expanded to target shoppers with pill fatigue, said Stover.
Whey protein frustrations and DMAA
Asked about challenges in the market, the high price of whey protein had led some firms to add glycine to whey protein powders in a bid to up the protein content without declaring this on the label, claimed Stover.
He added: “I don’t know how widespread this is, but we found it when we tested some samples where the price made us suspicious. It’s very frustrating for responsible players, but the high road is the long road.”
As for controversial stimulant DMAA (1,3-Dimethylamylamine), he said: “We’re not convinced about its functionality or legitimacy, so we don’t use it.
“The temptation is there for companies because there is a lot of money in it, but we want to be a trusted brand.”
While Twinlab has had a chequered past, filing for Chapter 11 protection against bankruptcy in 2003, it was snapped up by IdeaSphere Inc the following year and has been performing strongly over the past two years, said Stover.
Twinlab is a leading manufacturer and marketer of vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals, herbs and sports nutrition products under the Twinlab, Metabolife, Dr. Greene, TeaZen, Nature's Herbs, and Alvita Teas brands.