How Hydroxycut continues to innovate

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / StockPlanets
Getty Images / StockPlanets

Related tags Sports nutrition sans Sports Nutrition Summit USA Iovate Weight management

After over two decades in the weight loss category and more competition than ever, Hydroxycut has managed to stay relevant by turning challenges into opportunities.

Suleen Mak is the vice president of brand and strategy at Iovate Health Sciences, the parent company of Hydroxycut. She credits the brand’s success to science. 

“Our number one focus for innovation is finding new breakthroughs in research to drive better weight loss outcomes," she said. "A good example of this is our exclusive use of paraxanthine—a clean and pure caffeine metabolite to drive calorie burning without the perceived downsides, and Axivite, a highly bioavailable form of capsaicin, an active component of chili peppers.”

Mak added that the second guiding principle of the company's innovation strategy is driving new formats that fit easily into people’s lifestyle. Examples include fast-acting capsules, mocktail-inspired drink sticks and gummies. 

Making reality a success 

At the end of 2023, Hydroxycut announced its partnership with reality star Heidi Montag, who went on to lose 22 lbs over 12 weeks from July to October 2023. 

“As a brand, Hydroxycut has found success leveraging the reality space for ambassadors because they are relatable and, as you’d expect, comfortable with putting themselves out there—both the good and the bad," Mak explained. "We celebrate their successes and root passionately for them through their struggles. During our process of selecting and securing a celebrity partner, we saw the transformation Heidi made after having her first child back in late 2017-2018, so we knew there was going to be an appetite for her to find that physique again after having child No. 2 in November 2022.” 

Image courtesy of Iovate. Montag, who recently had her second child, lost 22 pounds with help from Hydroxycut over a 12-week period

“The other thing we quickly realized is that Heidi was committed to putting in the work—both with her diet and her fitness routine to successfully pull off a Hydroxycut transformation," she added. "There was something special for us watching her, like our other non-celebrity before-and-after transformations, use social media (specifically Snapchat) to hold herself accountable on a day-to-day basis.”

While promoting Hydroxycut, Montag was asked about the proliferation of weight loss medications in Hollywood. She said, “I’m not looking for a magic wand. I like to do the hard work.”

When it comes to standing out as pharmaceuticals like Ozempic  dominate the headlines, Mak said her company has witnessed a halo effect due to the buzz around other new products that are currently generating significant celebrity and media attention.

“We’re also seeing opportunities to be a bridge product for consumers who want to take actions towards reaching their physical and personal goals but without committing to significant pharma costs, or the pain of having to take injections on a frequent basis,” Mak said.

“What you’ll see in 2024 is an effort to introduce new innovations that will be complimentary to those on GLP-1 pharmaceuticals.  Not everyone tolerates GLP-1s well and they also can compromise nutrition and muscle retention so you will also see Hydroxycut provide supplement options and programming that help consumers reduce glucose while also promoting better nutrition and muscle retention, which we believe are the cornerstones for achieving long term fitness and weight management.”  

Sports & Active Nutrition Summit is almost here!

Mak added that there will be more on those new innovations later this year. In the nearer future, Raza Bashir, vice president of scientific affairs and product innovation at Iovate, will be speaking at the NutraIngredients-USA Sports & Active Nutrition Summit​ next month in San Diego. Bashir will join Rachel Jones, MS, RDN, SVP and chief product innovation & science officer at GNC as well as Robert Wildman, PhD, head coach at TYM Athletic Performance, and Joey Savage, chief science officer at Glaxon for the Innovative Ingredients Panel to discuss the ingredients to watch in the active nutrition space.

“Brace yourselves for a sneak peek into technologies and cutting-edge ingredients from anabolic peptides to game-changing Glucose Disposal Agents, and beyond,” said Bashir. “I can't wait for the panel and to share developments with all attendees.”

Register for the Sports & Active Nutrition Summit today!

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