A lot has changed since we last talked to Chris Waldrum, who graced us with his presence in the legendary Episode #69 on the PricePlow Podcast. This time around, he’s recently begun managing the new direction of the brand at Nutrex Research (named the “Nutrex Rebirth“), so we brought him on to talk about the transition from his sale of Inspired Nutraceuticals and on to Nutrex’s rebrand coming this year.
We’ve long had a great relationship with Nutrex, spanning back to a trip we took in 2018 where we met the leadership team. Five years later, we’re still big fans of products like the Gummy Bear flavor of Outlift, still a house favorite flavor, and IsoFit is one of the most incredible isolates on the market – and more people need to know about it.
That is Chris’ job – to retell the Nutrex story to the next generation of athletes, and remind them how a major brand with serious international power can still throw its weight around in America. The first product to rebrand is Outlift Amped, so that’s what you can look forward to first. You can watch on YouTube below or listen on any number of podcast apps:
Video: Chris Waldrum Heads up the 2023 Nutrex Research Rebrand
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Show Notes: Chris Waldrum Leads the Nutrex Research 2023 Rebrand
0:00 – Re-Introductions
Chris is a repeat guest on the podcast, he has been on many times before, potentially his 5th time on the show. If you want to see something wild and one of our most viewed podcasts involving Chris, then check out Episode 69.
Chris has recently moved over to Nutrex Research as their Chief Marketing Officer, which will be covered in great detail after the next ten minutes or so.
1:20 – The Beginning of Inspired Nutraceuticals
Inspired Nutra is a Supplement company founded by Chris himself, It was founded back in 2014 and has seen huge success ever since. The first product Chris put together was a combination of fat burning ingredients and nootropics in a capsule form. From his previous role at Dymatize, a massive supplement company that was acquired by Post Foods, he assumed all of his old accounts would love to support his own product, but it didn’t turn out that way.
It then led to the most popular product across the range, a pre-workout called ‘DVST8’ which had the soon-to-be-banned AMP Citrate in the first formulation.
5:00 – DVST8 and the Takeover
It then led to the most popular product across the range, a pre-workout called ‘DVST8’ which had some intense stimulants in the first formulation. Chris would go to retail stores and gyms to do demos and other reps from other companies would mention how great the product was and that their bosses were not happy with how well Chris was doing.
7:50 – How did moving away from Inspired transpire?
2020 definitely had an effect on the business and also on Chris as a business owner. There wasn’t a chance of the business failing or anything, but it did make operations more daunting. Chris mentions that he lost enthusiasm for the numbers that the business was doing, and did not feel the same about the business.
A few things happened which meant that Chris had to do a lot of the packing for 8-10 hours a day, which left no time for his designing work, a great passion of his. He decided he had lost most of his enthusiasm and excitement for the business, meaning it wasn’t something he really wanted to continue on with. They then proceeded to put the word out that Chris wanted to sell Inspired and within days a certain company (still unnamed) was all over it.
11:20 – What’s next for Chris?
Once the company was sold on Black Friday 2022, Chris then moved on to start designing for other supplement brands on a consultancy basis. It was really just a passion of his, but ended up resulting in quite a lucrative move for himself as a lot of people wanted to work with him.
Nutrex Research then reached out to Chris and wanted him to help with their re-brand of the product line. Once the Owner of Nutrex had seen the work and help Chris had been giving, he reached out and offered Chris a position at the company that he couldn’t refuse.
14:10 – Nutrex going forward…
Chris has recently traveled down to Florida to meet the team and see the facilities they have. Nutrex owns their own facility, which is not very common in the industry at the minute — they have a great backbone of a business too.
16:45 – Chris and his design/consultancy work
Chris has been working with many different brands ever since selling Inspired, and a growing number of companies reached out, wanting to work with him. He then started working with Ritchie Designs, owned by Liz Ritchie. Liz is a really well respected designer in the supplement industry and a lot of you will have seen her product designs in well-known products.
21:52 – Who is Nutrex Research?
Nutrex is a company built by people who really care about the brand and what they do. Chris mentions that Nutrex was always just seen as a corporation, rather than showing the transparency and personality of the company. This is something he’s aiming to do from the beginning, to make Nutrex a company people want to be involved in. Nutrex started out as a very edgy brand, heavily bodybuilding-based, but is currently not as relatable.
The idea for Nutrex is to bring in some more relatable athletes and really try to bring back the hardcore element but through such personalities.
Nutrex has focused a lot on international business, therefore meaning that more regulations need to be met, so a lot of bleeding-edge formulas have had to fall to the wayside. Chris wants to bring back the cool formulations and revamp the thought process in the US about Nutrex.
31:22 – What are the plans for formulas changing or will they stay the same?
Nutrex is going to relaunch Outlift Amped first, but are going to make a fat burning pre-workout that will have some really cool novel ingredients in from companies like NNB Nutrition. Following these, Chris will then be modernizing the other formulas they currently have at Nutrex. This will include proteins, EAAs, anabolic products, and nearly everything else in the line (but not Lipo-6 at first, as we’ll learn later). Chris also mentioned that the formulas will be updated but not to fall in line with everything else in the industry, they will be trying to do things differently and uniquely.
36:01 – Compliance when working for a big company who distributes globally
Compliance across the globe is a huge problem when trying to expand a supplement brand. The bigger the range of distribution, the bigger the risk of a product not being compliant. Each country has its own rules and regulations to adhere to, so creating a formula in the US that can still be competitive but can be used for International distribution is very hard to get right.
43:25 – What is the plan for lower-income international markets?
With the dollar being strong in the current market, other countries aren’t going to be able to afford a $50-60 pre workout, so the plan needs to be slightly different for those markets. Chris’ sole focus currently is to make Nutrex relevant in the US, the international side of the business is actually doing very well and will continue to do so.
Many ‘legacy’ brands in the States — where young consumers have moved on from — do very well in other countries, where they’re very much in their prime. Chris has a strong gameplan on growing Nutrex in the states first and then pushing the same values and formulas over into the International market.
51:04 – Formulating products with synergism
Ben and Chris strongly agree on the synergism of ingredients in formulas rather than just a contest of who can fit as many ingredients in a product as possible. It’s highly likely that the human body will struggle to digest and break down all of a 30g+ serving. Ingredients all have different purposes and pathways they work in, so putting everything into a formula at huge dosages may offer no benefits at all but for an extra cost. In many studies, there isn’t an instance where they show how the ingredient in question worked with another ingredient, it is always a single ingredient study. So therefore you cannot state that one ingredient alongside another will create a better effect.
55:31 – Will we see transparency in terms of manufacturing?
Chris has mentioned that Nutrex will be a reflection of himself and what he stands for. One of those things being transparency in most things and even in manufacturing which is something that some brands like to hide. Some famous brands like Ghost show their manufacturer and are transparent with it. As Chris mentions, they’re working with the biggest manufacturer there is, and this is something anyone would want to show off. However, there are other smaller companies who won’t show who their manufacturer is as they maybe can’t afford the biggest and best.
1:00:01 – How important is transparency in building a brand?
Transparency is key to building a brand in the modern day. People want to know the people behind the brand and what they are about. Customers want to know what the owner will do with the money and where their money is going. Customers also may feel that if an owner is showing off their wealth that they might feel uncomfortable supporting that individual with their hard earned money.
Chris states how the first time he met the owner of Nutrex, he had a really nice brand new car and straight away the owner said how he didnt want the car to be a reflection of him as he is not a flashy person in general. He had driven his last car into the ground before being forced by the staff and loved ones to get a nice car and treat himself for once. This is a great reflection of the owner and what he stands by, considering how well Nutrex has done for many years.
1:08:09 – What is going to happen with Lipo-6?
The Lipo-6 fat burner product line will be staying as it is for now. It does very well for Nutrex and Chris doesn’t want to jeopardize anything on that end. The Lipo-6 range features a few proprietary blends which aren’t too popular in the influencer corner of the industry currently.
Chris has mentioned how proprietary blends will be back, but will be in ingredients that are tested and clinically researched, using efficacious dosing and backed by studies. Some examples of this are patented ingredients like PeakO2 and 3DPUMP Breakthrough.
1:16:34 – How does your mindshift change from being at a smaller brand like Inspired to a huge brand like Nutrex?
Chris wants to be able to treat Nutrex as more of a small company where they can see a trend, pivot and then capitalize on it. Even the most simple things, like doing a seasonal flavor last minute, is something they want to be doing more often. They have a good relationship with their manufacturer which means they can get new products out in 6 weeks which is a really good lead time.
Chris mentions how he is going to bring across a lot of the things that worked for him at Inspired, he also says that they may be a corporate brand but they have given him a lot of room to work with and a lot more funds than he had at Inspired.
1:19:20 – What do you think the hardest part of working at a big brand will be?
One of the biggest hurdles will be the ingredients they can use, Chris would like to be a little bit more edgy than they maybe can be. One of the people who does this really well is Drew over at AP Regimen.
The other big hurdle is to make a massive company like Nutrex relatable to people and general consumers, also giving people the chance to interact with Nutrex. Ben mentions how BPI and other big brands have used big names like Mike O’Hearn and Jay Cutler to do so.
1:21:03 – What type of athletes are Nutrex looking to bring on?
Nutrex wants raw, relatable people, not just huge bodybuilders with unobtainable physiques. They are going to try and target the younger generation with maybe using people on TikTok to do so. It’s all about engagement rather than the amount of followers, they need people interacting with Nutrex.
1:29:03 – Changing the thought process of the human race
It’s very difficult to make a breakthrough with a lot of people who religiously follow certain brands or individuals. Even when shown factual evidence, they will not back down or be interested to learn. Chris’ biggest pet peeve in the supplement industry is to do with label claims and label errors. As a designer, this is something that Chris hates to see, as it is a lack of care shown in creating the labels. The guys’ usual gripes about label mistakes come up at this point.
1:36:03 – Issues within the industry
One thing many people and companies don’t know is that you can’t actually quote an expiration date without stability testing, which is extremely expensive to do. This is something Nutrex does regularly and Chris believes a lot of brands might get stung with this soon if they don’t start doing it.
1:44:01 – Are you using AI for anything business wise currently?
For a little bit of fun conversation as told in Episode 69, Mike declares who he believes the next President will be. On to AI, ChatGPT is a great tool to be used when it’s needed and for certain jobs and tasks. The issue with AI is that the human brain will start to decline if we just constantly use AI to do all of life’s tasks as we won’t be using our brains enough anymore.
To make AI work but keep humans active and involved in work, there needs to be a type of job that AI is used for but for the other tasks there is still enough work for humans to do. The amount of jobs that will be lost won’t be good for the country, as everyone will be living off state welfare due to losing their jobs. UBI is all but inevitable at that point.
Ben believes that humans will still keep a massive amount of control but he also thinks it may be a good thing as some people don’t deserve the pay and jobs they currently have through being lazy.
As always, an incredible time with Chris!
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You can read our updated announcement in our Nutrex Research Rebirth article!
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