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Protein shake concept rolls out

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PA protein shake concept, Nutrition Station, targeting wannabe gym junkies is set to expand to 20 kiosks nationally this year.

The concept, which opened its first two stores at Sydney’s Castle Towers and Rouse Hill in December, is being billed as the first protein shake retail concept in the world.

Richard Sergeant, co-founder of Nutrition Station, says the brand will “definitely” have 20 sites nationally by the end of 2013, with aims to expand to a maximum of 50 sites overall.

The retailer, which is expanding via a mix of franchised and company operated sites, is now on the hunt for 16sqm average kiosk sites in shopping centres, with sites anchored by gyms preferable.

It’s already set to open in various Sydney centres in the next two months, including Broadway, Macquarie Centre, and Westpoint Blacktown, as well as Newcastle’s Charlestown Square.

It will open its first Queensland site next month in Brisbane’s Queen St Mall, with interest from potential franchisees in Melbourne too.

Expansion will initially be focused on the fitness obsessed Californian market, with stores in Texas, Hawaii, and neighbouring country Canada planned for the near future.

Capital raised from The Moores Group, which manages sports celebrities, has been partially funded by a host of American football stars, including Peyton Manning and Le’Ron McClain.

Sergeant says backing from sports stars is a natural fit for the retailer, which sells a range of ready made protein shakes between $5.95 and $11.00 for fitness conscious consumers on the go.

But he says Nutrition Station isn’t aimed at body builders or gym junkies, instead targeting a middle market of women between 30 and 55 years old and men aged from their early 20s.

“We say we attract the not too attractive personal trainer. We’re not going for the hardcore market. Those people just go on the internet and buy their shakes cheaper.

“Our target market is a few pounds overweight and she still has the dessert when she goes out for dinner. The men in their 20s are the type who like working out, but will miss the gym to go to the footy and have a beer.”

Sergeant describes its store design as a cross between Boost Juice and a GNC store, with kiosks branded in black with hues of red, purple, and blue.

The boys behind the brand

Nutrition Station was founded by Sergeant and Jake Farragher after the pair discovered a gap in the market for fitness enthusiasts.
Sergeant says one of the biggest development hurdles was figuring out a way to make the protein shakes cold, “because they taste like crap if they’re not”.

“We couldn’t get an ice machine on site to work with the powder. We thought about using a slushie machine, but you need sugar in that or it freezes.

“One day we thought ‘let’s use soft serve’. We quickly settled on frozen yogurt as it’s perceived to be much healthier.”

The duo soon after approached Frosty Boy Australia, a locally operated FMCG business established in 1976, to make Nutrition Station a bespoke high-protein frozen yogurt.

“We stood over them until they made it. They told us it couldn’t happen, and it would taste like shit, but
let us try it.”

The result, a frozen yogurt with 10 grams of protein per 100 grams and 150 calories a serve, now forms the base of all the retailer’s shakes.

Frosty Boy, who Sergeant says provided them with “the best support of anybody”, is now set to supply all of the US sites as part of a global supplier agreement.

Nutrition Station is in the early stages of research into other markets outside the US and Canada, however, at this stage it’s focused on Australia and the US.

“Plenty of people grow too fast and implode,” says Sergeant.

Source: Inside Retail
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