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Fit Foods Ltd.
Just outside of Vancouver, in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Fit Foods Ltd. is one of the fastest growing manufacturer-distributors of sport nutrition and healthy lifestyle products in western Canada and the world. Since 1996, the company has formed a built-to-last business model centered on core, dependable products that start with top-notch ingredients and first-class quality control, regulated by a team of in-house food technicians.
Today, Fit Foods’ operations consist of a state-of-the-art 93,000-square-foot production facility, which adheres to the highest standard of Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) and has both Natural Health Products (NHP) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) certifications. The company performs private label manufacturing with more than 4,000 stock formulas, but Fit Foods is more widely known for its own highly-successful brands such as MUTANT, PVL, PVL Essentials, Whey Gourmet and North Coast Naturals.
Fit Foods founder and CEO, Jim McMahon, has been in the health and fitness industry for decades and he has become a go-to industry expert. McMahon has written numerous articles on the subject of sports, diet and active lifestyle nutrition and has formulated close to 5,000 items.
Hard work meets budding market opportunity
Fit Foods was originally established by McMahon under the name PVL Nutrients, which is now one of the company’s brands. “In 1996, the sports nutrition industry was still somewhat in its infancy,” explains McMahon. “I was in my mid-20s and when the company I was working with got sold, I saw an opportunity to get started in the industry on my own, building on the relationships I had established.”
The company launched with just four products and things began to blossom – and fast. “I just put my nose to the grindstone while giving as much customer service as I could,” recounts McMahon. “The first year was really a blur. It was some of the most fun I’ve had, but also one of the most stressful times of my life. Every little financial target we set, we blew past month by month and things just mushroomed.”
But McMahon says he didn’t start Fit Foods to own a large company. “I wanted to be self-employed, but I also wanted to help and educate people,” he says. “I quickly found that what I was doing really resonating with customers in British Columbia and beyond. There was a need to make existing products better and more affordable to Canadians.”
The following year, the company began to expand in Alberta. “A friend of mine in the industry who was living in Calgary invited me to a trade show,” recounts McMahon. “He helped me unpack my minivan and said, ‘I’m going to work for you.’ He was technically my first employee, although I didn’t have the money to pay him at first and he had to work on commission. He took a big vote of confidence in me/my company in doing so.”
Once Fit Foods made its way into Alberta, things started to take off, province by province. “We knew a few people in Saskatchewan and then our products began to get recognized in Manitoba,” says McMahon. Between store demos and presentations, Fit Foods steadily spread throughout Canada.
“We came up with more brands, including natural products such as organic hemp and rice protein under our brand North Coast Naturals,” adds McMahon.
“Before I knew it, I had 30 employees,” continues McMahon. Fast-forward to today and Fit Foods has 120 employees and a line of 40 main products going out to 100 countries worldwide. The company has also moved into a new 93,000-square-foot production facility in Vancouver to accommodate record growth. This facility is supported by two distribution sites in Toronto and in Tennessee in the U.S.
Fit Foods exists in multiple retail channels, including health stores, natural grocers, gyms, sports stores, pharmacy, mass convenience stores and more. The company also boasts its own NHP site and certified-organic manufacturing facility under EU and CFIA certification.
The company’s broad line of protein powders, meal replacements, weight gainers and healthy lifestyle products has earned Fit Foods international recognition for tasty, quality products in the global marketplace. “We have a specialized international logistics team that works with partners around the globe to provide solutions for freight forwarding, importing and product registration for nutritional supplements and products into many different countries,” explains McMahon.
Products that meet the needs of all levels of consumers
One fundamental point for Fit Foods, across all product lines, is education. It was this building block that spurred McMahon to found the company and educating people about positive eating and healthy behaviors is still central to Fit Foods’ philosophy.
“We’re dedicated to every individual who wants to be healthier,” assures McMahon. Fit Foods has worked with everyone from Olympic gold medalists to professional athletes and people who simply want to be more active in their daily lifestyles. “Our product line is diversified to meet the needs of each individual.”
Fit Foods strives to deliver not only the best tasting, but also easiest mixing and most absorbable products on the market. “We just released seven new flavors of a new whey protein line extension under our Mutant brand called Mutant Pro 100: they are 100 % Whey and 100 % Gourmet” says McMahon.
Mutant Pro 100 flavours stemmed from the already successful brand Whey Gourmet. Named “The World’s Best Tasting Protein Shake,” Whey Gourmet is made of high quality whey isolates and concentrates scientifically designed to provide time-released, sustained energy.
The product delivers a complete protein with all essential amino acids vital to proper nutrition. “Whey Gourmet is a perfect fit for those looking to add lean muscle, tone up, slim down or that seeking a healthy protein addition to their diet – and so now is Mutant Pro 100,” says McMahon.
Another product line that’s been a market leader for Fit Foods is MUTANT MASS. “We’re expanding this muscle mass line into the U.S. and think there’s huge potential for growth,” says McMahon.
MUTANT MASS delivers a unique combination of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats to help increase muscle mass. Every serving of MUTANT MASS delivers a whopping 1,060 muscle-building calories and 52,000 milligrams of amino acids from 10 different protein sources, which instantly trigger a massive increase in protein synthesis. The product also incorporates absorption nutrients and blood sugar stabilizers to quickly deliver nutrients to muscles, resulting in rapid gains.
“This product has been such a success that last year, at FIBO in Germany, the largest body building show in the world, MUTANT MASS, along with other Mutant items, won three awards,” adds McMahon. “The product has also won awards in Canada, Norway and Sweden repeatedly over the past few years.”
Fueling long-term relationships
At the end of the day, McMahon says its more than leading products that set Fit Foods apart in the health and sports nutrition category; it’s the service and support that go behind each and every product. “What sets us apart is more than customer service, but a gold standard in customer service,” he measures. “We want to make our interactions memorable, whether it’s on the retailer or consumer end. It takes a lot of time to find a good customer so it’s important to cultivate and feed these relationships.”
For Fit Foods, it’s about building a relationship that’s more than a one-off transaction. “We’re in this business to make lifetime relationships; we don’t view our sales as being a one-off transaction, but rather a relationship – we like to have our customers stay with us for decades if possible,” says McMahon.
It’s this philosophy and the overall desire to help people achieve their goals in health and fitness that have allowed Fit Foods Ltd. to shine as a global leader in manufacturing and distribution of sport nutrition and healthy lifestyle products.