By Josh Azar
In a recent press release, Complete Nutrition announced a new partnership with the sports nutrition brand German American Technologies. Complete Nutrition is a chain of nutritional supplement retailers. Started in 2004, the company distributes more than 200 different products from more than 170 stores, with another 100 stores planned to be opened within the next three years. GAT is a designer and producer of “performance enhancing dietary supplements.” Their products are currently available in over 12,000 locations, including physical buildings and online retailers.
“The supplement industry thrives on overhype and under delivery,” says Jonathan Bernor, a world-ranked powerlifter and personal trainer. “They show pictures of juiced-up athletes and promise fifteen-year-old customers that they can achieve the same results on their products.” The release was distributed with a photo of a muscular man, veins bulging.
Some like Bernor are skeptical of supplements. “A good diet beats supplements any day of the week,” he says, “and over the long run will yield ten times better results.” An article in the Harvard Women’s Health Watch newsletter shares in some of Jonathan Bernor’s distrust. “Some supplements that were found to have health benefits in observational studies turned out, with more rigorous testing, to be not only ineffective but also risky,” the article says. Some studies “raised concerns that high doses of these nutrients might increase cancer risk.”
Despite this skepticism, the nutritional supplement industry is a quickly growing and profitable one. Complete Nutrition has been recognized in several business publications, including being a 2012 Franchise 500 award recipient in Entrepreneur Magazine.