[Editor's Note: Welcome back to our "Inside Look" series, in which we assess the present and future of the supplement industry by talking with CEOs, founders, and senior executives from some of the most respected and innovative companies in the sports nutrition field. In this installment, we're talking to Gerard Dente, President of MuscleMeds, a company celebrated for its product development savvy and integrity. A former bodybuilding champion, Gerard has "walked the walk" on the pro circuit, and now he's here to "talk the talk" about our industry's future. He's one of the great pioneers in our field and, as always, his opinions are his own.]
ProSource: Can you state the basic philosophy of your company and how it translates into the manufacturing and marketing of your products?
Gerard Dente / President, MuscleMeds: MuscleMeds targets serious, hardcore lifters who aspire for greatness in the gym, on stage or anywhere they perform. These are not "me too" lifters who follow the pack, but those who rely on science and the latest performance nutrition research to enhance their training and help them build muscle faster and perform better. Thanks to a team of forward-thinking scientists and research & development experts, MuscleMeds continues to set new trends in performance nutrition. The company stays ahead of the competition by using their insight and scientific research to formulate groundbreaking new supplements that set the standard for excellence and performance enhancement.
MuscleMeds Performance Technologies represents the apex of innovation, science and performance enhancement for the world's most serious lifters.
ProSource: Tell us a little about how your company got started.
Gerard Dente: MuscleMeds Performance Technology was founded in NJ in 2008. Our premier supplement brand within the MuscleMeds portfolio is the CARNIVOR line of products. CARNIVOR Beef Protein Isolate revolutionized the protein category as the industry's first beef protein powder. The CARNIVOR line now includes six different highly innovative beef protein products – CARNIVOR BPI, CARNIVOR MASS, CARNIVOR Beef Aminos, CARNIVOR Bars and CARNIVOR Raging Bull Series. From the launch of MuscleMeds, Kai Greene has been the face of the company. Kai is enigmatic, highly intelligent and a wildly popular hardcore bodybuilder. The improvements he has made and his success in the IFBB are a testament to the power of MuscleMeds products. His reliance on beef for muscle building protein made him a perfect fit for the launch of CARNIVOR and he excelled because of it.
ProSource: What key feature of your product line distinguishes it from those of your competitors?
Gerard Dente: MuscleMeds Performance Technologies represents the pinnacle in supplementation science. It is a state-of-the-art company that unites performance enhancement with pharmaceutical-based nutritional technology. Using leading edge research and true product innovation, MuscleMeds scientists have developed new, proprietary technologies for dramatically improving athletic and human performance. MuscleMeds has created some of the most exciting products in the sports science industry -- most notably CARNIVOR. MuscleMeds introduction of CARNIVOR, the first Beef Protein Isolate supplement, truly revolutionized the industry. Other product developments include pharmadynamic nutraceutical hormone manipulation (HexaGHen and Methyl ARIMATEST) and fat-incinerating thermogenic advancements that also increase strength (MethylBURN). And with new breakthroughs such a clinically dosed muscle building pre-workout (NO BULL XMT), highly anabolic bioactive bovine serum albumin (BSA) post-workout (SECRET SAUCE) and UPC-1 targeting fat burner (PHENBUTEROL) coming to market, MuscleMeds continues to set the trend for product innovation and excellence.
ProSource: Briefly describe a recent promotion or product launch your company undertook and why that promotional was successful.
Gerard Dente: MuscleMeds is actually just at the start of its biggest new product launch since Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate was released in 2008. This new product is Secret Sauce - the world's first bioactive post-workout formula with bovine serum albumin (BSA). The launch was actually accelerated by the release of the critically acclaimed film Generation Iron in late 2013. In one point in the film, Kai Greene is in his kitchen and using his MuscleMeds supplements. The camera followed him, and then came to rest on a MuscleMeds experimental lab sample bottle with a simple white label saying "Secret Sauce." And so the promotion was born. MuscleMeds has teamed with the film company Vladar to sponsor the DVD release of Generation Iron. In addition, the mini-documentary "The Making of Secret Sauce" is included as a DVD bonus video. This short film describes Kai's secret use of this product for 2 years, as well as the advanced manufacturing and science behind the product. MuscleMeds has also teamed with Flex magazine to create Generation Iron: The Training Guide digimag app, which will be available on the App Store. This digimag app shares the workout routines and training programs of the 7 IFBB pros who were chronicled in the movie.
ProSource: How important are the trade shows and expos to the growth of your company?
Gerard Dente: While Kai Greene has more than 1.2 million fans on Facebook and MuscleMeds reaches many thousands more via the Web, trade shows are of unique importance because they allow fans the opportunity to meet Kai Greene and personally sample CARNIVOR, NO BULL XMT and other MuscleMeds products. This interaction helps grow the brand significantly. MuscleMeds is a very single-minded company in terms of no-frills performance enhancement and it doesn't occupy tons of space or sponsor numerous events. But when the Arnold Classic Expo or Olympia Expo opens its doors, MuscleMeds is there in a big way.
ProSource: What does your company do to ensure ethical standards?
Gerard Dente: MuscleMeds is all about the customer, so it has built its business around delivering results in the most complete and ethical fashion. The company employs a variety of internal standards and top quality controls to ensure its offices, warehouses and procedures are GMP compliant. Its staff is properly trained in the science of the product line and experts at customer service. In addition, MuscleMeds products are manufactured in regulatory compliant facilities.
ProSource: Let's say a customer is just starting a fitness regimen, can only afford one product, and he/she comes to you. Which one supplement do you recommend? Why?
Gerard Dente: Everyone knows that protein is the number one supplement category, and the reason is simple -- all lifters, athletes and fitness buffs need protein to help rebuild their muscle tissue. But MuscleMeds takes this one step further. Its CARNIVOR Beef Protein Isolate provides all the muscle building power of beef in a powdered supplement form, plus it also includes added creatine and BCAAs, and the ANRT Technology to help recycle amino acids for greater benefit. So consumers get a powerful protein source at the base of their supplement regimen, and then can build around it with other products to meet their precise fitness needs.
ProSource: What do you believe are the best and worst things about the supplement industry?
Gerard Dente: Undoubtedly, the best quality of the supplement industry is its concentration on health and fitness of consumers. Athletes everywhere benefit from the innovations and advancements of the supplement industry. Nowhere else does science and performance enhancement go so closely hand in hand for the average consumer. However, sometimes it can become difficult for people to find the information they need to make the best product purchase. This is where the industry might be considered "bad." There are some unscrupulous websites out there that don't always give accurate information. ProSource.net performs a valuable role in our industry by communicating accurate, unbiased information on supplements.
ProSource: What do you think is the key to continued success in this industry?
Gerard Dente: Product innovation is the key to success in the sports supplement industry. Creating new and exciting supplements that deliver real results will ensure growth and advancement for the top companies. This type of revolutionary innovation is what drives MuscleMeds Performance Technologies. Every MuscleMeds supplement has been created using the latest active ingredient research and development, bringing monumental product breakthroughs to the industry on a regular basis. Consumers recognize this internal search for supplement excellence and they gravitate toward the company to fuel their own quest for excellence. Most importantly, these amazing product innovations deliver the results they promise, which continues to build a loyal following for MuscleMeds products.
ProSource: Pick one supplement product category that you believe is poised for great change and advancement in the coming two or three years. What is it and how will customers see that impact?
Gerard Dente: Although protein is a well-known category mainly dominated by whey, the sub-category of Beef Protein is growing fast. It is no surprise that a protein capable of delivering the power of beef without any fat, cholesterol, sugar, lactose or gluten would become the new protein of choice. MuscleMeds created this sub-category with CARNIVOR Beef Protein Isolate, and it has followed suit with the introduction of the only beef protein mass gainer (CARNIVOR MASS), a powerful amino acid supplement (CARNIVOR Beef Aminos), a new protein supplement infused with energizing caffeine (CARNIVOR Raging Bull Series) and delicious new CARNIVOR Bars, the first protein bar to contain Beef Protein Isolate. CARNIVOR sales have exploded as bodybuilders and athletes seeing great results by using it. And what really surprises consumers is how good it tastes! CARNIVOR is now available in eight delicious flavors.
ProSource: Thanks for visiting, Gerard.
Do you have a question for Gerard Dente? Enter it into the comments field below, and we'll pass it on to him to answer.