Bodybuilding.com is the largest online retailer in the fitness centric industry. They are the OG and continue to be one of the most shopped platforms online for sports nutrition supplements. Much like popular grocery chains, and even Amazon.com, Bodybuilding.com saw a great opportunity to leverage their brand trust to create a line of affordable products that closely matched “mainstream” brands to provide a value to their loyal customer base. That product line is now known as Bodybuilding.com’s Signature Series and was launched in January 2018.
Many major retailers now have their own “private label” brand. Target has Archer Farms. Kroger has Simple Truth. Amazon has OWN PWR (and Amazon Basics). When a retailer, whether you’re online or brick and mortar, becomes large enough, it only makes sense to create a private label line. The thing about many private label brands today is that some of the products under those brands are actually superior to the “mainstream” brands and are available at a less expensive price. Main brands need to take notice of private label.
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series could be called “private label” to some, but traditionally private labs products are only available at the retailers own stores and platforms. Bodybuilding.com Signature Series is available outside of Bodybuilding.com. Currently Bodybuilding.com Signature Series is available on Bodybuilding.com (of course) but also on Amazon.com. Amazon.com is the one website that outsells Bodybuilding.com in terms of sports nutrition supplements, so it is a huge opportunity for Bodybuilding.com to have their brand on that platform.
Bodybuilding.com is not looking to stop at Amazon. The goal with the Bodybuilding.com Signature Series is to focus on innovating product offerings and flavor offerings that users desire as well as explore retail expansion opportunities to make the product readily available through other retail outlets that shoppers may experience. This is not the mindset of a private label brand. This is the mindset of a brand that wants to be in a consumers consideration set for their next pre-workout or creatine powder.
Brands on Bodybuilding.com should not have to worry about Bodybuilding.com “ripping” off their products like we’ve seen with other major retailers. A representative with Bodybuilding.com said:
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series is meant to provide quality products that drive results at a value to consumers, the Signature Series line from Bodybuilding.com helps to complement 3rd party product lines on Bodybuilding.com that may not have all of the solutions available. It is also meant to provide a value to users while not taking away the quality that users seek a value offering that other brands may not be able to offer all the time. Bodybuilding.com’s goal is to provide our users with innovative products, expansive selections of products and ultimately deliver on the sports nutrition and supplementation needs for all of our customers. We also are expanding on fitness brand solutions in categories beyond consumables for our consumer base. Our strategy is to deliver fitness solutions to our users through the brands we partner with and elevate within our experience to our consumer, putting our consumer first.
This mindset and strategy requires Bodybuilding.com to maintain mutual beneficial partnerships with major brands in the sports nutrition space. You may not see Bodybuilding.com Signature Series release a pre-workout with over 20 active ingredients, but you can expect the brand to release products that are sufficient for the vast majority of consumers that fall within their price range. BodyBuilding.com will continue to thrive off of their partnerships and the brands they carry on their online store. The Signature Series is a great way to get entry level customers and those who are just looking for a good product at an affordable price.
The benefit to Bodybuilding.com’s Signature Series is they traditionally don’t have a marketing expense that they have to pass onto the consumer, thus allowing them to create standard products at an affordable price. The sports nutrition consumer is price sensitive and Bodybuilding.com knows this better than anyone. By creating a line of supplements at an affordable price, more consumers can get into supplements to help them on their fitness journey, something that drove Bodybuilding.com since the very beginning.
Although there are currently over 20 products in the Bodybuilding.com Signature Series line, many consumers are still unaware of the line, or are hesitant to try due to the unknown. Bodybuilding.com Signatures Series offers everything from pre-workouts to BCAAs to mass gainers to protein powders to probiotics to commodities like Citrulline, fish oil, CLA and vitamins. We are going to dive into several of their products below and compare them to major competitors to reassure you that the Bodybuilding.com Signature Line is not a “cheap” alternative to major brands.
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series Pre-Workout
The pre-workout category is the most popular performance enhancing category in sports nutrition. The standard price for a pre-workout today can range from $30 to $55 a unit. The serving sizes are now moving from a 30-serving to a 20-serving. We are seeing a lot more innovation in this category, but there are still several simple pre-workouts that do the trick for many. BodyBuilding.com’s Signature Series Pre-Workout is one of those simple pre-workouts that is very affordable. While most “affordable” products on the market cut proper dosages down to make up for costs, Bodybuilding.com kept theirs close to optimal.
The pre-workout is 30-servings and retails for $27.99. However, Bodybuilding.com periodically runs deals that brings this to 2 for $40 making this a $20 pre-workout.
The pre-workouts contains only five proven ingredients. We start with 5g L-Citrulline. The clinical dosage of Citrulline is 3-5g. We get that here. Citrulline is the precursor to Arginine in the body which increases nitric oxide levels and subsequently improves blood flow and the pump. The next ingreidnet is L-Leucine at 3g. Leucine is a BCAA. Leucine is responsible for kickstarting the mTOR process and increasing MPS (muscle protein synthesis). Although we typically don’t see Leucine alone in a pre-workout, it can serve a purpose for muscle recovery. The branded version of Beta-Alanine (CarnoSyn) is used at 1.5g. We would like to see this at 3g, but we also understand that BodyBuilding.com is taking a consumer first approach and many consumers don’t like the “itchy” feeling that comes with Beta-Alanine. Beta-Alanine improves muscular endurance. Taurine is used next at the optimal dosage of 1g. Taurine can improve overall performance by regulating your body’s electrolytes. It aids with strength and power output. Lastly, we get 200mg Caffeine Anhydrous. This is a good amount of Caffeine.
At the cost of this pre-workout, you could even do 1.5 scoops to get a full dosage of Beta-Alanine and caffeine at 300mg. This would guarantee proper doses of each ingredient.
Compare Bodybuilding.com’s Signature Series Pre-Workout to the #1 selling pre-workout on the market, Bodybuilding.com’s is superior. BodyBuilding.com Signature Series is better priced and better dosed with a fully transparent label
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series Protein
Protein is an essential supplement many of us take to help with muscle recovery and muscle growth. Bodybuilding.com sells many different proteins. They have an advantage to see what consumers purchase that allows them to formulate their protein powder to be consumer first.
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series Protein Powder is good enough to rival some of the big “brands” in this space. In fact, it is actually better than most, and it is more affordable!
Each servings of Bodybuilding.com Signature Series Protein contains 25g of protein from three protein sources. The protein sources are whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and whey protein hydrolysate. The leading competitor in this space, and is sold a lot by Bodybuilding.com, offers only whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. Bodybuilding goes a step further on their labels and actually breaks down how much of each protein source we are getting. Bodybulding.com Signature Series Protein contains 10g whey protein isolate, 7.5g whey protein concentrate and 7.5g whey protein hydrolysate for a total of 25g protein. Whey protein hydrolysate is considered the #1 protein for quality, followed by whey protein isolate and then whey protein concentrate. This is very respectable to see a “private label” provide a much better option than the leading competitor at a better price.
The other macros are:
A five pound container of Bodybuilding.com Signature Series Protein retails for $49.99. Much like the other Signature Series products, you can find this on sale for 2 for $79 making it less than $40 for a 5lb tub of protein.
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series BCAA
Branch chain amino acids consist of L-Lecuine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine. They are popular products to be used intra-workout and post-workout to aid with muscle recovery. BCAA products can range from $20-$45 per unit depending on other ingredients used. Some of the best value on BCAA you can get is $1 per one serving (approximately 5g BCAAs).
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series BCAA provides you with a better value than the rest of the market. A 30-serving unit retails for $17.99. There are times where you can find this for two for $30 making it $15 a unit. At $15 a unit, the cost per serving is $.50, a steal!
The formula consists of a 3:1:1 BCAA ratio. The standard ratio we’ve come to see and expect is 2:1:1 (two parts Leucine to one part Isoleucine and one part Valine). However, new research suggests more emphasis on Leucine can actually help kickstart mTOR and increase muscle protein synthesis better. Leucine is the cheapest of the three amino acids, so many companies are doing 8:1:1 to 12:1:1 ratio leveraging this new research more for marketing and margins than to actually support the consumer. Bodybuilding.com only tweaked the ratio slightly to leverage the new research, but not to take advantage of the consumer.
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series BCAA is a solid value for the consumer.
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series Commodities
Many of us like to supplement with what we call “commodities.” These are single, stand-alone ingredients like Citrulline, Fish Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Creatine, Glutamine, etc. There is not a huge difference among these in quality for other brands, if any at all. In fact, some of the quality could be better on the Bodybuilding.com Signature Series line. The point being, these are commodities. You do not need to pay extra for “branding/marketing” when you’re just looking for a CLA capsule. They offer a wide range of commodities at affordable pricing.
As a supplement expert, I am impressed with the Bodybuilding.com Signature Series. We plan on using and reviewing several of the products here for FI. The fact that they do not have to invest in marketing is an attribute to the consumer and their checkbook. You can get some really good products at good prices within their Signature Series line. While many “big brands” are tossing out under dosed proprietary blends, or cheap protein blends, Bodybuilding.com is putting the consumer first making good products at great prices.
Bodybuilding.com Signature Series will never include every major sports nutrition product category, but they cover the most popular and they approach it with the KISS strategy (keep it simple stupid). They do not overdue their formulas. They keep them simple, effective and affordable.
I would not be surprised to see Bodybuilding.com Signature Series show up at other retailers as we move forward in time, creating strategic partnerships where Bodybuilding.com can help the retailers and the retailers can help Bodybuilding.com.
While a lot of the universe is writing off Bodybuilding.com, we believe they are updating their business model for longevity, and the Bodybuilding.com Signature Series is a great addition to the long-term strategy, and ultimately the success of Bodybuilding.com. We look forward to the other products Bodybuilding.com decides to launch under the Signature Series line in the future.