Q&A: Iovate’s Larry Daley talks helping retailers stay relevant in sports nutrition

David Salazar
Managing Editor

Nutrition company Iovate has a host of well-known brands in the sports nutrition space — including Hydroxycut and MuscleTech. Company executives said that its success comes from its ability to help retailers offer products that best meet their unique consumer’s needs. Drug Store News caught up with Larry Daley, executive vice president of North America sales at Iovate, to discuss the company’s approach and the importance of educating wellness consumers.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera
Larry Daley

DSN: Tell us about Iovate — what does the company stand for?
Larry Daley: Iovate is a company with a rich 25-year history.  Our unwavering commitment to “quality nutrition for all” is our legacy. Today, our mission has never been clearer: “To inspire active lives through nutrition and wellness for a healthier tomorrow.” Our globally recognized portfolio of trusted brands and active nutrition products help consumers lead healthier lives.   Iovate is driven by our consumers. We will lead with innovation and adapt to the rapidly changing consumer landscape. Iovate will challenge conventional thinking with a set of core values that include, “Consumers Drive Us, Own It and Muscle Through”; we are inspiring consumer wellness journeys in over 130 countries worldwide. 

DSN: How can you help mass retailers?
LD: Iovate is focused on helping retailers achieve their goals and objectives. We align our leading brands and assets to best support the unique needs of each retailer. The COVID pandemic is driving seismic shifts in active nutrition and wellness. Consumer demand for quality brands at the right value has accelerated. Wellness consumers have also become more heavily reliant on digital education in their path to purchase. Iovate can partner with mass retailers to help their consumers every step of their wellness journey. Iovate is driving community and connectivity via the fastest-growing network of followers and subscribers in the industry. Iovate is also investing to educate mass retail shoppers with best-in-class digital and in-store platforms. Finally, Iovate provides mass retailers with innovative, trusted, quality brands that make wellness and active nutrition possible for all. 

DSN: What do retailers need to do to maximize sales and profits?
Retailers need to align with the “wants and needs” of their core shoppers/consumers.  In the active nutrition and wellness space, retailers need to deepen relationships with their consumers. How consumers shop has changed through the pandemic. Having a strong omnichannel approach is critical to building a consumer connection and being part of their active lifestyle. Consumers are looking for brands they can align with from a values standpoint and help them in their active lifestyle endeavors through videos, and educational material. In a post-pandemic world, the consistency in messaging through in-store execution, online content, and engagement is critical for brands and retailers to be relevant to their targeted consumer base. Retailers also need to “drive excitement” with breakthrough innovation, unique offerings and compelling engagements. 

“People who purchase active nutrition and wellness products are empowering themselves and taking their health and wellness into their own hands. Today’s consumers have data more readily accessible and are looking for brands that best fit their needs. Iovate is investing heavily to educate consumers.”

DSN: Education must play a big role in your success with consumers. Tell us what you are doing in that regard. What do retailers need to do to assist you?
LD: Consumers are more sensitive than ever about their wellness and brands. Education is paramount to wellness consumers. People who purchase active nutrition and wellness products are empowering themselves and taking their health and wellness into their own hands. Today’s consumers have data more readily accessible and are looking for brands that best fit their needs. Iovate is investing heavily to educate consumers. We have worked on simplifying messaging on-pack to clearly communicate product attributes and benefits. In addition, Iovate continues to invest in education online helping consumers navigate confusing product labels and ingredient profiles. Retailers can assist by providing in-store navigation and education tools and linking shoppers to additional resources online. An informed consumer is a motivated consumer; suppliers and retailers should partner to enhance education in this space. 

DSN: How has the pandemic influenced your company's strategies? Sales?
The pandemic will have lasting effects on our consumers approach to their health and wellness. Consumers have become more proactive and focused on prioritizing functional nutrition and immunity-enhancing products.  Iovate has seen increased consumer demand for weight management products and quality proteins that support performance and a healthier lifestyle.  Iovate brands are well-positioned to play a leading role in serving this elevated consumer demand. The Iovate portfolio of leading brands, MuscleTech, Six Star, Purely Inspired and Hydroxycut offer unique benefits in the areas of active nutrition, weight management and immunity. Iovate understands that to win in today’s environment, we need to continue to invest in best-in-class e-commerce and digital capabilities. We are building elite, agile digital marketing capabilities to connect with our consumers in very personalized and meaningful ways.  

DSN: What does the future look like for you? Why?
Iovate is investing in consumer data and insights to understand the rapidly evolving needs of the active nutrition and wellness consumer. We are seeing wellness mega trends dominate the consumer landscape. Iovate operates with a consumer-first mindset. That will not change in the future.  

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