Growth in triathlon and cycle events boosts the energy and nutrition market

Zipvit's Ben McKay reveals the brand's biggest selling lines and how the sector is faring
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How’s business for Zipvit at the moment?
Very good, we are in our third year and were initially surprised at how strong the sales were for new sports nutrition products – endurance athletes are well aware of what makes a good product and it was great that they picked up on the quality of the Project ZV range.

Is the nutrition sector vibrant currently?
Interest in sports nutrition has really developed. I think the purchase of three UK brands over the last 12 months is a clear indication that the market still has a lot of room to grow. There is much greater participation in cycling events and triathlon year-on-year – everyone who competes is exposed to energy products and the athletic community is very vocal on what they believe is the best product which has helped drive the growth. There is more awareness of the benefits of sports nutrition and the correct way to use energy and recovery products. We have introduced Zipvit Sport by supplying some big events in the UK and Ireland such as Etape Caledonia and Etape Hibernia and we have the Etape Cymru coming up, as well as international triathlons in New York, Alcatraz, Washington, Chicago, Alpe d’Huez and Lisbon.

What lines are the biggest sellers for Zipvit?
ZV7 and ZV7C Energy Gels sell very well, it’s unique, with double the carb load of most competing products. Our energy and protein bars are also good sellers – we now have eight flavours across the two lines.

Zipvit teamed up with i-ride in November, how’s the relationship going?
Extremely well. I met Paul Butler at the TCR show in 2010 and we discussed distribution. We stayed in touch and liked the way i-ride works with brands.

They have helped develop great POS for our UK retailers. The whole team at i-ride is very focused on providing a good service to retailers and we are more than happy with the way they have handled our introduction to UK cycle trade. We have recently launched all of the powdered energy and recovery drink in resealable pouches and smaller quantities as a direct result of feedback from the stores and we are working together with the guys at i-ride on introducing a range of vitamins.

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How did the partnership with La Mondiale Tour team come about?
We had a contact on the team through one of our partners in France, they were keen to try the products and after good feedback from the riders they asked if we would supply them for the next two seasons.

Regarding new products we always look to improve. The best way to do this is to work closely with riders at the top of the sport. We do not produce bespoke products for a team and sell a watered down version to the consumer, so if we develop a product with our athletes we introduce it to the range.

Zipvit is distributed via i-ride:

T: 01444 243 000
W: www.i-ride.co.uk

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