Rich concept? Personalised-protein at your service, sir (or madam)...

By Lynda Searby

- Last updated on GMT

P-fit for purpose? 'It’s not perfect but I guarantee that it is a lot closer to perfect than the alternatives'
P-fit for purpose? 'It’s not perfect but I guarantee that it is a lot closer to perfect than the alternatives'

Related tags: Protein, Conjugated linoleic acid

Entrepreneur Oliver Cookson has embarked on a new venture – a personalised protein-based nutrition service designed to “unravel the maze of protein by giving each consumer exactly what they need”.

P-Fit​, short for ‘Perfect Fit’, launched two weeks ago, with a clear point of difference versus the ‘one size fits all’ approach that dominates the protein supplement industry: instead of expecting the customer to know what kind of protein they are looking for, this service uses an algorithm to calculate a solution based on their goals and personal details.

“All of our solutions are based on whey protein, but depending on whether the customer’s goal is to gain lean mass, lose body fat or support general wellness, the protein will be combined with other active ingredients,”​ Oliver Cookson told NutraIngredients.

For example a weight loss blend would also contain konjac (glucomannan) and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), whilst a ‘wellness’ solution would incorporate vitamins, minerals, flax seed powder and maca powder.

Near perfect personalisation

P-Fit also takes into account gender, age, weight, height and training frequency, to recommend serving size and frequency.

“A 180 cm, 120 kilo man will need more protein than someone half of his size, but standard products don’t reflect that – they only offer one serving size, and consequently people get confused about how much protein they should be taking. Our service tailors the amount of protein to the individual, and tells them when and how they should be taking that protein. It’s not perfect but I guarantee that it is a lot closer to perfect than the alternatives,”​ explained Cookson.

Customers receive a 30-day supply of formula, which can range from three to five shakes daily depending on their profile and requirements, along with a usage guide and meal plans.

The cost per month starts at £19.99 (€22.50), but Cookson said he expected most subscribers to spend on average £40 (€45) per month (for 2.5 kg). He said this compared favourably with pricing in supermarkets where consumers pay on average £50 (€56) for 2.5 kg, but that people could obtain protein cheaper online if they wanted.

“We can’t compete with suppliers who sell protein in bulk nor are we trying to – whatever the sector, a personalised, tailored product will not be the cheapest. What we offer is great value for a holistic, one-stop service spanning supplementation, diet and training,” ​said Cookson.

Initially, P-Fit is hoping to attract customers with trial packs of five shakes for £1 (€1.13), an offer it is promoting via Facebook.

Müller & Monocore

P-Fit sources the majority of its whey protein from Müller’s Sachsenmilch milk and whey business, a supplier with whom its parent company, Monocore, has a long-standing relationship.

“Over the last 12 years I have worked with all of the key whey protein suppliers. Müller’s is not the cheapest protein but the quality is second to none; German, grass-fed whey protein that is free of GMOs and antibiotics,” ​said Cookson.

With an established parent company and a serial entrepreneur at the helm, P-Fit isn’t a start-up in the true sense of the word.

Oliver Cookson-P-fit
Oliver Cookson: Been around the protein block.

“Monocore is already manufacturing protein blends at our facility in Manchester. We employ 30 staff and have full warehousing facilities there,”​ said Cookson.

P-Fit also has the benefit of Cookson’s previous sports nutrition successes, which include Myprotein and GoNutrition. Cookson sold Myprotein in 2011 for £58m (€65.30), but remains a major shareholder. GoNutrition, which he subsequently founded in 2013, is still part of Monocore, and turns over £4m (€4.5) a year.

Cookson’s latest venture is self-funded (Cookson’s net wealth is estimated at more than €150m), but investment is possible.

“If the right partner was interested, I could potentially be open to investment to accelerate the growth of P-Fit,” ​he said. “Ultimately, my ambition is to make P-Fit a global leader in supplementing and promoting a healthy lifestyle. I have a lot of ideas for development within the model.”

Related topics: Markets, Personalized Nutrition

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