Welcome to the Joshua Schall Audio Experience
On my podcast, you’ll hear episodes of my popular short-form Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) news segment "Consumed", a long-form CPG entrepreneurship interview segment "Formula For:", deeper dive segments "Deep Dish CPG", public speaking engagements, and any of my new and current thoughts that I record specifically for this audio experience!
Leave a review on iTunes and let me know what you think!
Why are the Lessons From the "First Fitness Influencer" So Important Now?
How can the first fitness influencer in history help us anticipate the future of influencer marketing? What’s happening today is not new, with most being remixed strategies and methods from years, decades, and even sometimes centuries past. Recently, I was reading an Economist article that made me ponder the trend of fitness influencers. If asked when did fitness influencers start, you might say person XYZ from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Web 1.0 Internet forums or blogs. If you’re a bit older you might say Arnold Schwarzenegger, but what if I told you the “first fitness influencer” came to relevance in the late 1890s. For my bodybuilding fans, you will recognize the name as he’s immortalized with being the trophy given to the annual Mr. Olympia. Though other Victorian strongmen faded from memory, Eugen Sandow remains a household name in the fitness industry. Why are these lessons from Eugen Sandow so important now?
The Vitamin Shoppe Franchising Details Finally Released
After a year-long delay stemming from the “COVID-19 Effect”, The Vitamin Shoppe finally opened itself up to a refranchising process. As many of my followers know, I’ve said The Vitamin Shoppe would move to a franchise model since their acquisition announcement in August of 2019. The franchise disclosure documents should have been ready in 2020, but the “COVID-19 Effect” created an uncertain business environment where it was better to dig in and execute on existing plans without rocking the boat. Now that we have publicly disclosed information and interested parties can apply to be a franchisee, I wanted to provide you with an overview of those details, discuss how they compare to their biggest competitor GNC, explain why this refranchising is happening, and most importantly discuss what’s could be coming next at The Vitamin Shoppe.
Notorious B.I.G. Likely Would Have Been a Great CPG Entrepreneur
I’ve always believed that Hip Hop and CPG entrepreneurship are linked together. Firstly, Hip Hop is seen as counterculture to other music genres, which is similar to CPG entrepreneurship in today’s “technology” filled founder landscape. Additionally, Hip Hop and CPG entrepreneurship are both centered around being salesmanship and the ability to hustle. Moreover, Hip Hop music is rooted in remixing (or sampling) previous music, and this iterative innovation process is also core to the CPG industry. Finally, Hip Hop is more than music, it's a cultural lifestyle...which anyone in the CPG industry knows it functions in the exact same way. This is probably why you see so many hip-hop artists that are involved with CPG entrepreneurship (or investing). Unfortunately, we never got to see if Notorious B.I.G. would have made this list before his untimely death, but he did provide us hints likely would have been a great CPG entrepreneur. So, what can you learn from the hip-hop legend?
Quest Nutrition Unlocks Growth from Strengthening Protein Confectionery Trend
Quest Nutrition has unlocked growth from leveraging the strengthening functional confectionery trend, but the question of whether it's enough to offset declines in the Quest Bar and Atkins protein bar SKUs is still uncertain. In this latest podcast episode, I'll utilize the 2021Q2 Simply Good Foods Company (NASDAQ: SMPL) earnings report, earnings call, and supplemental presentations as the backdrop to provide broad health and fitness snacking market insights. Quest Nutrition and Atkins Nutritionals each continued to have a mixed bag of performance at the product category level, including protein bars and nutritional bars performing worse on a YoY basis (though both continue to outperform the category average). Within my last quarterly update on the Simply Good Foods Company, I provided a business case for why the company should transition to a more "snackier" product portfolio regardless of positive macro trends around consumer mobility. It looks like at least the Quest Nutrition brand was already on the same wavelength. After successfully re-releasing their Quest Peanut Butter Cups to rave reviews and strong sales velocity, they decided to build on that momentum by launching their Quest Candy Bites and Quest Candy Bar this week. In an original article that I wrote just over 3 years ago (Read it here), I called for active nutrition companies to look beyond protein bars and into more confectionary categories that they could add a functional twist to. I mentioned in that article that “if you follow the sports nutrition CPG space closely enough, you have seen some launches that would be more associated confectionery-type CPG products. While most active nutrition brands have not innovated in this manner, are these product launches an indicator of the future?” I think the resounding answer in 2021 is yes…
MusclePharm Slams Home First Profitable Year in Company History
MusclePharm slammed home its first profitable year in company history, as the sports nutrition brand finally sees some fruits of its labor stemming from the extensive multi-year turnaround plan. For this podcast episode, I'll utilize the MusclePharm Corporation (OTCMKTS: MSLP) 2020Q4 earnings report, that was released on 3/30/2021, to breakdown the most important key updates surrounding the maker of Combat protein powder. With profitability now being achieved consistently, where does MusclePharm go from here? While the sports nutrition brand is obviously far from rewriting its history of accumulated operating losses, these results are baby steps in the right direction. It must now focus on; stabilizing falling global sales, building direct-to-consumer (DTC) capabilities, understanding its legacy role in the market, and rebuilding investor relations to build stakeholder support and optionality for the business in the future.
FitLife Brands Avoids GNC Bankruptcy Downfall
Even the GNC bankruptcy couldn’t take down the transformation plans that are in-process at FitLife Brands (OTCMKTS: FTLF). A national provider of nutritional supplements for health-conscious consumers, FitLife Brands markets under two brand segment names; NDS Products (sold through the GNC network) and iSatori Products (sold through a diversified retail mix of 17,000 locations). I'll utilize the recent 2020Q4 FitLife Brands earnings report and any additional publicly disclosed information to discuss some broader strategic insights regarding the nutritional supplements market. I'll end the podcast by trying to answer the question, "where does the company go from here?"
5 star informative
Joshua gives such great insight into what’s happening within the supplement space & many other industries, also I appreciate how he breaks down information so everyone can understand the subject matter is he is speaking about
Easy listens packed full of juicy content!!!
Informative CPG Insights
Joshua Schall has done a very good providing information for those in the CPG space, especially in supplements and food. He has strong ties to the sports nutrition industry and provides great information and insights into this and other segments of the business.