In late May of 2023, we were thrilled to have Brian Tweer and Brady Adamson of AstroFlav on the PricePlow Podcast. Brian founded AstroFlav in 2019 after several years of running Jersey Shore Supplements, a local retail business that he founded. He eventually brought Brady on to AstroFlav, and things have been lights-out ever since, backed by their sleek new branding.
In this episode, we talk about the founding of Jersey Shore Supplements and AstroFlav – a company originally targeting “Out of this world flavor” – and how AstroFlav is using their own retail experience to support other small brick-and-mortar retailers that carry their supplements.
We of course get into formulas – talking pre- and intra-workout, but also diving into the new AstroFlav Magnesium product.
Brian has been on a phenomenal personal development kick, and shares his routine and recommended books with us. Finally, a couple of upcoming products are teased throughout the episode. Excellent listen from an excellent team!
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Show Notes with Brian Tweer and Brady Adamson of AstroFlav
0:00 – Introductions
The podcast episode features guests Brian Tweer and Brady Adamson from AstroFlav, a company known for their out-of-this-world flavors. Brian is the owner of AstroFlav and founder of Jersey Shore Supplements, while Brady is the VP of AstroFlav and manages all internal operations.
The discussion begins with Brian recounting the origins of his business journey, which started with a small retail storefront in Bradley Beach. His initial venture into the industry was with Jersey Shore Supplements in 2013, which eventually led to the founding of AstroFlav in 2019.
The hosts ask Brian about his entry into the sports supplements industry, which began while he was in college and playing football. He worked part-time at a supplement store in North Jersey and used this experience to open his own store. Despite early struggles and doubts, Brian was able to grow his business and build momentum. He attributes this success to his genuine care for customers, which he believes played a crucial role in his journey.
Brian concludes this part of the discussion by recalling his early days in the business, when he was the “small guy”. Even though his company is more prominent now, he emphasizes that they are still always striving to improve.
5:15 – People had to come through the store
Ben acknowledges the tough nature of the wholesale supplement business and reminisces about the iconic status of Jersey Shore and Jersey Shore Fitness, one of the oldest gyms in America.
Brian then talks about the initial name of their company, Jersey Strong Supplements, which they had to change due to a cease-and-desist letter from a local gym. This led to the adoption of the name Jersey Shore Supplements. Brian describes this situation as a fortunate one as it didn’t require a significant change, and they could maintain their “JS” initials.
8:30 – Why did you decide to start your own brand?
Ben asks Brian about the motivation behind starting their own brand, leading to the inception of AstroFlav. Brian explains that the drive came from his desire to find a solution to customer problems that their store couldn’t always address. Brian saw a need for a product that combined excellent flavor with high quality, rather than focusing only on the cost of goods.
Brian felt confident that if the product was good and valuable, customers would continue using it month after month, which would create a long-term customer relationship. This would allow them to make less margin upfront but benefit from the snowball effect of the brand’s longevity.
Brian also speaks about his partnership with Brady, who he met through his retail stores. Brady’s understanding of the vision, his expertise, and innovative approach played a crucial role in the transformation of their brand. Brian appreciates Brady’s ability to turn a standard product into something unique, adding to their retail and customer service expertise.
Ben then expresses his admiration for AstroFlav’s products, noting the synchronization in thinking about ingredients between his team and Brian and Brady’s team. Ben appreciates the consistency of AstroFlav’s good protein flavors, recognizing the importance of taste for customer satisfaction and the potential for repeat purchases.
13:30 – The importance of being confident about your brand.
Mike brings up how AstroFlav confidently challenged any flavor from competitors early in their journey, and their products proved to be exceptional. He admires the company’s rebranding and new labels. Brian confirms that he learned from being initially naive about the market. However, he believes that if you’re not confident about your products, you shouldn’t release them at all. He describes their attitude as “humbly confident.”
When Brady joined the team, AstroFlav went through a rebranding, transitioning to a cleaner, more mature and timeless look. Brian and Brady wanted the products to be visually appealing on a kitchen countertop, something their customers wouldn’t feel the need to hide.
Ben asks about the inspiration for the cleaner look. Brian explains that it arose from the saturation of the market, with each brand attempting to outshine the others with vibrant and busy labels. AstroFlav decided to go against the trend, opting for a minimalist, chic, and Apple-esque design. They aimed for a look that was gender-neutral and attractive.
17:15 – The pros and cons of having a professional countertop.
Mike appreciates the professional appearance of AstroFlav’s rebranding and comments on how it’s a product line he can comfortably keep on his countertop, or recommend to a broad range of people – from his wife and mom to his friends. He likes how each product has something unique about it and commends Brady’s formula work, noticing that despite the brand’s cleaner appearance, the products have remained potent and have not been watered down.
Brian expresses that Brady exceeded his expectations in the first year with his expertise and innovative ideas. He notes the trust and rapport between them which stemmed from their retail relationship where they frequently agreed on product preferences. When the opportunity arose for them to collaborate on AstroFlav, Brian felt confident knowing that Brady’s knowledge would ensure great product quality.
Brian considers their business to have a strong hospitality element, aiming to provide excellent service to their customers. He believes the combination of this approach with Brady’s product knowledge creates a powerful synergy.
20:00 – What has driven the main rebrand and reformulation?
Ben appreciates the collaborative style of Brady and Brian, noting that their retail background makes them more open to the concept of mixing and matching brands. He thinks this openness is refreshing in the industry and beneficial since the ultimate goal is to improve customers’ lives.
When asked about the formulation philosophy of AstroFlav, Brady explains that before his arrival, the brand already paid attention to flavor and consulted with co-manufacturers for product formulations. He mentions that they built on products that were already successful in their stores.
23:45 – Health biohacking and development.
Brian highlights the value of fitness not just for aesthetic benefits but also for mental health. He believes that the mental benefits of physical activity are primary and the aesthetic ones are a byproduct. AstroFlav’s focus is to help customers launch their untapped potential, whether it’s in the gym or in other aspects of their lives.
Brian shares that he comes from a sports background, having played as a middle linebacker in college and traditionally focusing on heavy weightlifting. However, as he got older and started a family, his perspective shifted towards overall health and the benefits of the substances he’s putting in his body.
He believes that longevity is the end game and appreciates the free education and content available today, such as the work that Ben and his team do. This education helps consumers and industry players make better, more informed decisions about what they put in their bodies and how they approach their overall health and fitness.
31:25 – How to add value to the product?
Mike inquires how they plan to differentiate the upcoming updated AstroFlav Collagen product from the numerous existing options in the market, especially given they’re investing in a better, more expensive collagen source.
Brady responds by sharing their plans to further develop educational content that details the benefits of their products. This will include leveraging the knowledge and experience of the AstroFlav team members to deliver these educational messages, as they’re starting to do already.
Brian adds that they’re focusing on educating their existing customer base, with whom they’ve already built trust, about their new and improved products. They believe that properly informed customers will likely share this information with others, thus generating a snowball effect of word-of-mouth marketing.
35:45 – Magnesium and the brain
Mike asks Brady to explain more about AstroFlav’s Magnesium product. Brady explains that their magnesium is a three-source blend: magnesium bisglycinate chelate, sucrosomial magnesium, and magnesium L-threonate, each offering unique absorption and effect characteristics. The product also includes astragin to enhance absorption and promote gut health.
Mike mentions the challenge of labeling magnesium products due to the varying yield rates from different forms of magnesium, and he appreciates the clear labeling on AstroFlav’s product. He also shares his preference for capsule magnesium products over powders, complimenting AstroFlav’s magnesium for meeting his needs.
Brady adds that they deliberately didn’t include magnesium citrate in their product because it often acts as a laxative at effective doses, which can deter consistent use.
39:30 – Some AstroFlav Favorites
Mike and Brady then discuss some of their other favorite products from AstroFlav, including 2X, a AstroFlav’s VeganMix protein vanilla flavor, and the new AstroFlav Multi. Brady emphasizes the importance of micro nutrition, suggesting people should prioritize such supplements before exploring pre-workouts and similar supplements.
Ben asks Brady about the thought process behind formulating their multivitamin. Brady shares that he started with the right forms of vitamins, especially focusing on a comprehensive B-vitamin complex, ensuring the vitamins could be properly utilized with the inclusion of essential minerals like magnesium. The aim was to create a product that would genuinely impact health and support cardiovascular health.
39:30 – Brian’s personal life and work life.
In this section of the podcast, Mike criticizes the use of magnesium oxide in supplements, noting that while it’s a cheap ingredient that can be packed into higher quantities, it doesn’t provide significant benefits and is often just excreted by the body. He then praises the inclusion of fulvic acid in their multivitamin product, noting its potential benefits including testosterone increase and performance gains, even though he doesn’t want to make firm claims.
The conversation then transitions to Brian’s experience as the introverted CEO of two companies. Brian shares that while he values his personal time, he also realizes the importance of his role as a public-facing figure. He discusses the challenges of balancing his need for solitude with the responsibility of being a supportive leader.
Brian acknowledges that as he grows older, he becomes more inclined to share the knowledge he acquires, recognizing its potential benefits to others. He’s pushed by his business partner, Brady, to disseminate their shared knowledge more widely, and also emphasizes the importance of giving back, especially in their retail partnerships.
48:15 – How they treat the wholesale side of things.
In this conversation, Ben and Brian are discussing the importance of supporting brick-and-mortar retailers and how their business has been working to provide this support. Brian explains that they offer practical guidance and strategies based on their own retail experiences to these stores, which could save them from a lot of trouble.
Brian criticizes some brands that during difficult times, like in 2020/2021, opted to significantly discount their products on platforms like Amazon or their own websites instead of supporting their wholesale and brick-and-mortar partners.
However, Brian does give credit to some brands that have found unique ways to balance their growth and maintain their roots by sticking with their brick-and-mortar partners. He suggests that while it’s challenging, it’s possible to manage growth and support for partners creatively.
52:45 – Selling to GNC and the importance of having integrity in business.
At this point, Mike asks Brian to clarify if they are essentially pledging to not sell out to larger distributors like GNC, in favor of supporting smaller, local brick-and-mortar stores. Brian confirms this commitment, saying that they do not plan on undermining their smaller retail partners, and want to ensure that they can sleep at night knowing they’ve acted with dignity. They have a commitment to their roots, and to the retailers who supported them from the beginning. Their business currently focuses on two sales channels: direct to their website and wholesale to support retail brick-and-mortar stores.
Brady further emphasizes that their intent is to continue selling in the places where they are focusing their efforts, and not be swayed by the temptation of quick money. Ben appreciates their dedication to investing in their roots and showing loyalty.
57:40 – How important is it to know who is behind a brand?
Ben notes that he often advises followers during his Q&A sessions on Instagram to align with a brand that appeals to them beyond just the product level. The panel also discusses the importance of knowing the people behind the brand.
Brian emphasizes that they prefer to collaborate with brands that share their values, ensuring customers can trust the products being sold. He also appreciates the competitiveness of the supplement industry, as it encourages higher quality and innovation.
1:03:45 – The importance of helping people get better
Ben notes that customers often ask him to compare one brand to another on Instagram, and emphasizes that there’s more to a brand than just the back panels of supplement products. He expresses the importance of knowing who is behind a brand, as it matters to him and to many others.
Both Ben and Brian stress the significance of long-term customer relationships, rather than quick sales. They discuss how sales reps should aim to help customers for life, often recommending combinations of products and offering personalized advice.
Brian underlines the constant evolution of their company, striving to provide the best service possible. He sees their business not only as a retail store but also as a service provider and a hospitality business. They are committed to listening to and helping their customers, even if it involves just talking with them and not necessarily making a sale every time. He stresses the importance of making people feel comfortable and welcome in their stores. The bigger message behind their brand is about caring for people and taking care of them.
1:07:45 – The importance of building a community of people.
Brady underscores the importance of people in a growing company. They have been hiring based on personality and alignment with the company culture, rather than solely focusing on skill set. Brady believes that having good people on board is vital for maintaining a consistent message and positive brand image.
Brian agrees, stating that one of the main qualities they look for when hiring is the potential employee’s ability to make friends. He explains that his earlier insecurity about not having the most muscular staff in his stores changed after a friend advised him to focus on how good employees are at making friends. For Brian, customer interaction is more important than physical appearance. He states that they value personality traits and sociability in hiring decisions for both AstroFlav and JSS.
1:11:15 – Personal development books and resources.
Brian emphasizes the importance of personal development in professional success. He recommends Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich as a good starting point for anyone, not just entrepreneurs. He believes that people can find success by being intrapreneurs – working hard inside of a business as if it were their own.
Brian mentions his disciplined morning routine as essential for his success and mentions a few other books that have influenced him. His transition from a football player in college involved making changes to his diet for mental clarity and eliminating distractions such as video games and TV. He believes these changes helped him focus on himself, his goals, and his personal development.
Ben asks Brian about balancing his disciplined routine with his roles as a father and a husband. Brian shares that having young children shifted his priorities, limiting his time for distractions such as TV and video games. He believes these years are critical for making progress in his personal and professional life and doesn’t want to look back with regrets.
1:18:15 – How do you cut out the TV?
Ben discusses how social media often glorifies a non-stop work ethic, and draws a parallel to diet culture and the concept of “If It Fits Your Macros,” questioning how this impacts personal relationships and family time.
Brian agrees and notes that while he is striving to be a successful entrepreneur, he values spending time with his family. He sees this as a difficult but necessary balancing act, emphasizing that the point of working hard is to provide for loved ones, not to miss out on their growth and development. He admits that the constant juggle between work and family life is a continuous learning process for him.
Brady, who also juggles family life and entrepreneurship, explains that he used to be overly obsessive about work but has learned to compartmentalize and maintain a healthier balance thanks to Brian’s influence. Despite the sacrifices he’s making for his business, he values being present with his family when he’s home.
Finally, Mike discusses the dangers of spending too much time consuming content or being overly tethered to our devices. He encourages listeners to create more, be it a business or any form of art, and to participate in physical activities. He criticizes the habit of excessive consumption, especially of TV and video games, and advocates for the importance of disconnecting from devices to be present with loved ones, especially children.
1:24:45 – Brian’s morning routine.
In this final segment of the podcast, Ben asks Brian about his morning routine. Brian explains that he wakes up early, usually around 4:30 to 5:00 AM, to have some personal time before the demands of the day begin. During this time, he engages in red light therapy, meditation, and personal development work. He also practices gratitude by writing down 10 things he is grateful for, which helps set a positive mindset for the day.
Ben shares his own experience, stating that reading at night doesn’t work for him as he struggles to retain information. He agrees with Brian and adds that if there’s something intricate he needs to retain for work, he waits until the morning to tackle it, as his focus and retention are better during that time. Ben also mentions his struggle with watching TV late at night, as he finds it difficult to engage and retain information, and suggests that it may be a sign to go to sleep at that point.
1:27:15 – Feeling is the Secret
Brian shares a book recommendation called Feeling is the Secret by Neville Goddard. The book suggests that before going to sleep, one should imagine and feel the emotions of achieving their goals. Brian practices this technique by taking a few minutes before bed to envision the success of his goals, allowing himself to genuinely feel the emotions associated with them. He believes that this practice helps alleviate stress and puts aside any negative baggage.
Brady mentions that his wife also encourages him to speak in absolutes when discussing their goals, embodying the idea of already achieving them. Ben appreciates the intentionality behind this practice, as it allows him to set aside uncertainties and focus on something positive before sleep.
1:34:00 – Reflections on the industry
The guys discuss how awesome the industry is – the constant innovation that comes from brands like AstroFlav. The people in this space are some of the brightest, most interesting people to be around.
Mike asks about product leaks. There is going to be a new flavor of the One Scoop Only pre-workout, a joint and inflammation product, and a pump powder formula as well. There are a ton of awesome things coming down the pipeline for AstroFlav.
Thanks for joining us gentlemen, PricePlow Nation will be following your products closely as always!
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