“Strategically, we are looking to that across all of our product lines,” CEO Jim Heidenreich told NutraIngredients-USA. “Using proprietary blends, and with customers not knowing what they are getting—we don’t want to do that.”
Citrine is a weight management supplement built around four branded ingredients: Natreon’s Sensoril ashwagandha extract, Capsimax, a concentrated capsaicin extract from OmniActive Health Technologies, Advantra Z, a Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) extract from Novel Ingredient Services and TeaCrine, Compound Solutions’ synthetic form of of theacrine. The action of these four ingredients is bolstered by the addition of Huperzine HeidenreichA and and a generic Ginkgo biloba extract. The whole rests on a foundation of a hefty 200mg dose of caffeine per individual serving.
All of these branded ingredients have their own science behind them, Heidenreich said. But the contents of the capsule are only one part of the story. Complete Nutrition’s market positioning is based on a ‘high engagement’ model and the new product is being marketed in conjunction with a program the company calls its ‘Fast Track 21-Day Meal Plan.’
“We believe in standing behind our product. That’s Complete Nutrition’s position in the market place. And we don’t believe in magic pills,” Heidenreich said. He said he will personally sign up for the 21-day plan, though as a dedicated triathlete himself, one wonders how much weight he needs to lose to begin with.
A key facet of the free meal plan is capturing biometric baseline readings for customers at the beginning of the process. Complete Nutrition stores have scanners that measure body fat percentages so customers can get an accurate picture of how their bodies are changing. And the stores are staffed with specialists who can aid that transformation.
High engagement model
“We have a model where although we are a retail franchise location and we sell a lot of products our real goal is to sell whatever it is that will help the customer change. Our employees are trainers and dietitians,” Heidenreich said.
“They are knowledgeable in health and wellness. They can give advice, and they live the lifestyle. They can give customers help with programs such as meal planning and training advice to meet their goals. The model would not work if we were just trying to be the cheapest and compete that way. We have been very successful. It’s a unique model, and from everything I’ve been reading it seems as if everyone is trying to knock us off,” he said.
Heidenreich said the high engagement plan the company has followed has had some unexpected benefits. Coming to the store seems to be becoming part of customers’ routines, and not just a once-a-month trip to stock on vitamins. It’s a program of trying to become a partner in customers’ transformation, rather than merely a source of products.
Heidenreich said Citrine is one of the company’s planned suite of ‘hero products,’ products that will eventually include a whole food nutrition bar with 20 grams of protein that will help customers deal with the urge toward unhealthy snacking.
“You have your blocking and tackling-type products, but we want to have something that we can get behind in a bigger way,” he said.