For many lifters and other athletes, the name MuscleTech is practically synonymous with sports nutrition. MuscleTech products have been mainstays in our top 50 most popular products for most of the 21-year history of Bodybuilding.com, and countless of our community members have grown, cut, and powered their hardest workouts over the years with the likes of Nitro-Tech, Hydroxycut, and Cell-Tech.
But MuscleTech isn't just one of the most popular global supplement brands, though. It's also one with instantly recognizable packaging, designs, and fonts. So the company's recent "rebrand" was hard to miss when it arrived on this website and elsewhere.
Curious about the backstory behind this ambitious reimagining of an iconic supplement brand, I spoke with Raza Bashir, Vice President, Scientific Affairs, Innovation & Procurement of Iovate Health Sciences International Inc., the parent company of MuscleTech.
What prompted this major rebranding—and is "rebranding" even the right word, given that you revamped the look of several product series?
We're always looking to evolve the MuscleTech brand and products. Two years ago, as we looked at the rapid evolution of the sports nutrition category, as well as our consumers, we decided that now was the right time to think about how our brand dialogued with consumers.
You are right, though. Perhaps "rebranding" doesn't quite capture everything we looked at. Of course, we considered logos, packaging, and campaigns—the typical things you think of when you say "rebrand." But we also looked at everything from our formulas to our technologies to how we organized our portfolio. We wanted to introduce more products that not only taste great but also provide incredible nutrition. Now, instead of looking at our products as "a series," we consider them as being formulated for the different occasions when our consumers need quality nutrition.
You restructured your lineup into three categories: Performance Series, Elite Series, and Health and Fitness Series. Can you briefly take us through each series and explain which products fall where?
Our Health and Fitness segmented products are for the everyday occasions when our consumers are looking for nutrition or healthy lifestyle support. For example, our new Iso Whey Clear protein is perfect for a daily clean protein serving. It allows our consumers to make protein part of their lifestyle for both hydration and post-workout.*
The Performance category is where we have our widest assortment of Sports Nutrition products. This lineup is for those who strive to be the best they can be. MuscleTech offers an innovative line of performance supplements to meet the demanding needs of serious fitness enthusiasts training to improve their strength, endurance, and power—and maintain their competitive edge.*
The Elite category gives us the opportunity to push innovation to the next level for serious fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes. With these products, our consumers can have their curiosity piqued and regularly be updated with the latest ingredient and formulation discoveries from our R&D team.
Is this rebranding complete or still in progress?
We're just getting started. Our assortment and distribution are so expansive that we needed to take a staged approach to make sure it's done right. Our consumers can expect the complete assortment to transition by summer 2021. Along the way, we've got exciting product additions and some surprises coming.
You mentioned changing not only the packaging but, in some cases, what's inside. Can you elaborate on the reformulations that have been made?
We already had many great formulas, but we're always looking to evolve our products and make them even better. We spent months working on how we could improve each formula and the overall product. We wanted to modernize them with new flavors, new key ingredients, and better macros, all while delivering a quality product with full-disclosure labels at a great price.
You've developed a reputation over the years of being one of the more science-focused supplement companies. Can you talk a bit about the R&D capabilities of MuscleTech today?
For more than 25 years, we've had our in-house team working in our in-house labs. The team combines decades of experience with the expertise of the industry's top ingredient suppliers and flavor experts, ultimately creating cutting-edge formulas and best-tasting products. Featuring key ingredients based on human clinical studies has been in our DNA from day one. Whether it's our own funded and peer-reviewed study or a gold standard study performed at a leading university, for the past 25 years every ingredient claim we have made has the published research to back it up.
We also continue to partner with countless universities and research facilities across the globe to ensure we are at the forefront of all emerging research. This helps us to deliver true innovation. Most recently, MuscleTech and the University of Toronto, one of the highest ranked and respected universities in the world, partnered to create the MuscleTech Metabolism and Sports Science Lab. Our dedication to science has resulted in our acquiring more than 100 patents, with additional patent applications pending, as well as more than 100 scientific communications, including full papers, abstracts, posters, and manuscripts. This has led to published articles in a variety of prestigious scientific journals, including Journal of the American College of Nutrition, International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Nutrients, and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Today, we are still the brand whose formulas are inspired by unbiased human clinical trials on key ingredients, for the best results.
The roster of MuscleTech-sponsored athletes on your website seems to have evolved, too—more diverse in terms of athletic endeavors, a little less bodybuilding-centric than before. Was that a conscious decision?
Yes. Our sponsored athletes have always been elite, but we noticed that there were large demographics, activities, and segments that perform at a world-class level. Partnering with them would reflect the true identity of our brand. Our products are for everyone across ages, demos, and locations, and we take pride in that. "Mean" Hakeem is a perfect example of an athlete who embodies our focus on elite performance across the board.
The BodyFit platform divides our subscription workout plans among five goals: muscle building, weight loss, gain strength, get fit, and performance. For each of those goals, can you give me one MuscleTech product that should be indispensable?
Muscle Building: Cell-Tech or Cell-Tech Elite
Gain Strength: Clear Muscle
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.