It’s been too long since Tim Gritzman of Natural Body Inc — everybody’s favorite retailer in New York — has graced us with his presence on the PricePlow Podcast. Last seen in Episodes #044 and #045, Tim continues to keep the ship straight with this business partner, Steve Calabrese.
For this episode, we discuss their latest Epic Block Party, which is an annual gathering / “sidewalk sale” / mini-expo of sorts that attracts 50+ brands, athletes, and business owners to New York every summer. We also get into Tim’s Flyby videos, and Tim’s Flyby Founding Principles, where he explains where there is “best”.
If you’re into pre-workout supplements, retail store settings, and a touch of recent drama (and why Tim stays out of it as a retailer), then this episode is for you!
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Detailed Show Notes: Tim Gritzman Recaps Natural Body Inc’s 2023 Epic Block Party
0:00 – Introductions
Mike and Ben welcome Tim Gritzman from Natural Body Inc to episode #113 of the PricePlow Podcast. Tim starts by discussing his focus on the Block Party and transitioning to Q4 activities. He talks about a content format called Flyby, which started as a joke but evolved into a significant daily activity, showcasing the day-to-day orders and consumer behavior. Ben highlights the informal and mixed brand nature of Tim’s content as a unique aspect in an industry full of polished content. Tim emphasizes the importance of flexibility and adaptability in consumer choices, allowing mixing and matching of brands based on daily needs and preferences.
6:30 – Pre-workout trends
Ben and Tim talk about trends in the supplement industry, focusing on the shift towards having multiple pre-workout supplements to meet diverse needs. They highlight how brands like Alpha Lion and Nutrex have responded to this trend by offering a variety of customizable options. The conversation also touches on the concept of a daily driver supplement and how consumer preferences for variety and full ingredient disclosure have evolved. Both speakers agree that brands adapting to these changes were ahead of the curve, catering to growing consumer demands for customizable supplement stacks.
13:00 – Consumer behavior
Ben, Mike, and Tim talk about consumer behavior regarding pre-workout supplements and the increasing trend of consumers owning multiple products. They note how users now seek variety and combinations of products, often focusing on experience and convenience, with energy drinks being incorporated into pre-workout routines. Tim comments on consumers’ anxiety about product efficacy and ingredient selection, emphasizing that enjoyment and personal preference should not be overshadowed by pursuit of optimal ingredient profiles.
20:00 – Tim’s career
Tim delves into his career journey, mentioning his time at Notre Dame, Eastern Illinois, and various positions in the supplement industry, highlighting connections with peers who remain in the field.
29:30 – Natural Body Inc’s Epic Block Parties
Mike, Tim, and Ben discuss the development and growth of Tim’s Block Parties. Starting in 2014, the block parties have expanded in size and scope, with an emphasis on consumer experience and the inclusion of popular names in the industry such as Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman. Tim explains the concept of a “Bake Off” where consumers can taste various products and interact directly with brands, aiding them in making informed purchasing decisions. Despite the absence of popular figures like Chris Bumstead in recent events, Tim notes that there hasn’t been a significant decrease in foot traffic, indicating a sustained interest in the event’s core offerings.
41:45 – Influencer Marketing
The group touches on the influence of individuals and brands at events. They discuss the evolution of influencer marketing, with more influencers desiring authentic partnerships or equity in brands. They emphasize the importance of genuine connections with consumers and mention several brands and influencers who have successfully cultivated a dedicated following.
48:15 – Partnerships and sponsorships
Ben recalls his experience attending a show with NutraBio and trying to create an engaging experience, reflecting on the importance of being part of a brand. Mike discusses the long-lasting nature of internet content, emphasizing how fans notice influencers’ authenticity and inconsistencies, impacting partnerships and credibility. Tim reflects on the evolution of integrity in sponsorships and the necessity of maintaining congruence when changing partnerships, while also discussing the role of a retailer in addressing brand controversies.
58:00 – Promotional content ratio
Mike, Tim, and Ben discuss the balance between promotional and non-promotional content on Instagram. They refer to insights from Gary Vaynerchuk and Alex Mosey, suggesting a 75% non-promotional to 25% promotional content ratio, akin to TV programming. The conversation also touches on brands’ collaborations and licensing, exemplified by a disagreement involving the movie Elf and the companies Axe & Sledge and Ghost.
1:05:00 – Skepticism about brands
Ben discusses his initial skepticism towards certain companies, citing his change in perspective over time, with Tim recounting his learning curve and realization that different consumers have different priorities. They talk about the credibility of non-company owners in providing unbiased product opinions and experiences. Tim introduces a theory about four brands—Ghost, NutraBio, 1st Phorm, and Redcon—each representing a different consumer value: innovation, transparency, helpfulness, and best deals, respectively.
1:12:45 – Community engagement
Ben, Tim, and Mike explore consumer behavior and perceptions in the fitness and supplement industry, focusing on pre-workouts and energy drinks. They discuss the influence of community engagement and branding, noting how it can inspire involvement in fitness activities. They also touch on the challenges brands face in balancing ingredient quality with market demands, emphasizing that the ultimate goal is to enhance the consumer’s workout experience.
Mike flashes back to Episode #066, where Ghost CEO Dan Lourenco explains having to fight Anheuser Busch to keep an ingredient like AstraGin in the formula, which adds cost but isn’t really experiential and doesn’t have much human data — something AB may push to remove as costs continue to rise.
1:19:15 – Content strategy
Ben notes the popularity of supplements in Brazilian jiu jitsu communities, citing experiences with products like Ghost Energy and the noticeable differences users feel. Mike suggests that a person’s dietary habits and deficiencies can significantly influence their reaction to such products — nearly anyone who’s carnitine deficient will feel great from Ghost Energy.
Ben and Tim reflect on the necessity of tailoring content to cater to both informed and less-informed consumers, acknowledging a shift in content strategy to include digestible information. They observe an increase in product launch frequencies, providing more touchpoints and opportunities for consumer engagement and education.
1:25:00 – Product launches at the Block Party
Tim and Ben discuss the challenges retailers face with frequent product launches and managing consumer expectations, highlighting brands like Ghost and Alpha Lion. They also touch on consumers’ desires for specific flavors and the dilemma of introducing new products without overshadowing existing ones.
Tim discusses the Core x Fun Sweets collab launch right around the Block Party, along with the NBI-exclusive Big CranGrapple Core FURY flavor. Tim stresses the importance of consumer feedback. Ben brings up the issue of exclusive flavors in the context of the Glaxon Astrolyte King Mango flavor, which eventually became available writ large with Martian Mango, asking Tim if this bothers him. Tim says no, and that it’s more of a proof of concept.
Mike mentions that different consumers will prefer different strengths of flavors. Tim says that it’s easier to dilute a product with water than to add more flavor. Mike also mentions MuscleSport Lean Whey Lemon Pound Cake, which was also released at this year’s Block Party.
1:39:00 What’s next for Natural Body Inc?
Tim says that launches are so frequent that it changes week to week. He is of course preparing for Black Friday and the holiday season. In addition, Block Party is not necessarily a deeper discount than Black Friday, but it has more merch and is more of an experience. Tim is also shifting more into content with a new reel series on Instagram. He stresses the difficulty of meeting the 90 second time constraint.
Tim discusses some new content and the differences between scientists and alchemists. Scientists care about the data and the stats, whereas the alchemists care about transferring the feeling of the pre-workout to a better workout. They talk about how even when ingredients are included below a clinical dosage, they can still retain efficacy.
The goal is improving knowledge and enjoyment in the supplement industry. Tim reiterates that one of his foundational principles is that Natural Body is primarily a hospitality company, and secondarily a supplement company.
1:50:15 – Wrapping up
To follow Tim, you can find him under @TimGritzman at essentially any platform. To learn more about the Fly By principles, visit @NaturalBodyInc, and his business partner is @NaturalBody. Links are below!
Coverage of Product Launches from the 2023 Block Party
- Core Nutritionals x Natural Body Inc. The Big Crangrapple!
- MuscleSport x Natural Body Inc: Lemon Pound Cake Lean Whey and Creatine Hydration
Where to Follow Natural Body Inc, Tim, and Steve
- Tim Gritzman on Instagram
- Tim Gritzman on YouTube
- Natural Body Inc on Instagram
- Steve Calabrese on Instagram
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Thanks to Tim for taking the time to catch up! As always, return to the PricePlow Podcast — be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform and leave a review!