Sci-Mx’s Journey from the Brink to Record Growth: An Inspiring Tale of Resilience and Adaptation

Sci-Mx has been around since 2007 and people throughout the UK know the brand thanks to it being one of the first sports nutrition supplements on the market. 

But many people don’t know there was a time when Sci-Mx was on life support. 

When Sci-Mx was sold in 2015, the parent company that took it over focused on snacking, moving away from protein powders, their core, and SCI-Mx’s presence in the supplement market suffered. 

Ultimately, in 2021 the business ceased trading. Supreme Imports swooped in and acquired the brand and stock portfolio. Things started to change, otherwise, the brand would have faded into obscurity. 

What happened next is a comeback worthy of a scene straight out of Rocky – a once well known name left for dead, now with a new lease on life, one sale of whey protein at a time. 

Supreme Imports didn’t want the legacy brand to ride off into the sunset, so they pushed to make sure Sci-Mx had the firepower to see real success. 

Speaking with James Williams, Sci-Mx’s General Manager, he broke it all down, from those hardscrabble moments to coming back, bigger than ever. The new team behind Sci-Mx didn’t want to focus solely on selling the same old products but on building a new range, keeping the best of what made Sci-Mx special, but with a unique formula, a fresh redesign, and a different market approach. 

And thanks to that mantra, the brand has seen serious growth; they managed to maintain a presence in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons during the transition to new ownership. They also extended their reach to a larger volume of customers. 

Sci-Mx is now the number two sports nutrition brand by Retail Value in the UK*. Manufactured across two UK production sites and a third site in Europe, they now have a fourth new build UK Factory incoming for 2023. 

*Nielsen GB Total Coverage Latest 52 Weeks Vs Year Ago WE 19 November 2022

Quality and Trust Over Everything

With Market inflation at a high, Sci-Mx has taken a different path. Instead of making a cheaper product filled with questionable ingredients, Sci-Mx focused on quality, offering a broader scope, including an option for vegans, and in the background dedicating the brand’s packaging to sustainability

“We’re passionate about getting sports nutrition out of the garage and into the kitchen. My vision is to get Sports Nutrition supplements to become a cupboard staple,” said Williams. 

“We want people to look at their health holistically and realize it’s a good addition to any diet instead of just using these protein powders and snacks before and after workouts. Because we’re focused on everyone’s well-being, we’re gaining new fans and followers.”

“We’ve been operating super lean,” continued Williams. “We’re always trying to think about leading in the market with consistency. For instance holding back on passing through raw material cost price increases if we didn’t absolutely have to. We’re thinking forward about how to position our products to be the most accessible.”

Williams asserted: “We’re not ‘cheap.’ Instead, we want to be ‘value-based,’ which isn’t the same thing.”

Williams said they believe in their products and they’re always experimenting to drive business upward. 

“We’re seeing average growth that’s around 50% annually,” continued Williams. “Because we’ve been successful with how we’re operating…we move at lightning speed when we’ve got an idea. More than once, we brainstormed something and within twenty-four hours, we sold our internal stakeholders on the idea, and had artwork files sent to ePac by the end of the week.” 

Processes That Are Powerful

And the process of working with Sci-Mx has been one that moves quickly and with intent. Williams was visibly animated, explaining what he’s experienced since working to build Sci-Mx back up to its former glory and beyond, 

“We’re an old brand that acts like a startup. It’s a phoenix story, but I can’t overstate it because if we relied on the old way of printing for our bags, it wouldn’t work as well as it currently is.”

Williams told us that ePac helped to get things done – fast, “…which ultimately supported moving the brand upward. Dealing with the other providers we tried at first, the packaging either didn’t meet our tough environmental requirements, or they had long lead times.” 

He added: “ePac prints digitally, so we get our packaging fast, but they also look and feel like a quality product. That was intrinsic for immediate credibility.” 

Williams continued, “We’re coming into our biggest push of the year. We’re seeing the growth, but this is the time of the year when people will be hitting the gym after eating all those mince pies. This is when the big orders from retailers will be coming in and ePac helps us hit our order goals.” 

The Story of Staying Power 

Williams knows what he’s after. After taking the job with Supreme to help relaunch Sci-Mx, he’s become an evangelist for the brand with a hunger. 

“We want to be number one. The growth proves we’re on the right track. We’re selling high quality products that taste great. We’re reliable, and a credible supply partner to work with. The brand’s history speaks for itself. We don’t increase our costs to the consumer, we find new ways internally to adjust to the market.”

The partnership with Sci-Mx is just as rewarding for ePac. We’ve watched the brand re-establish itself and forge new bonds across borders. We’re excited about the relationship as Sci-Mx grows, and thankfully, James Williams feels the same. 

“ePac was the right supplier at the right time. I want people to remember how good we were and realize how we’re better now,” exclaimed Williams. 

“We brought a brand back from the dead. We’re hitting our goals. We’re seeing the growth, we’re using the ePac pouches and they’re helping us to be recognizable. But one of the best things is that we’re also dedicated to being a sustainable product that cares about the earth. We’ve built that into our best practices and ePac has been a critical partner in doing so.” 

As far as ePac goes, we couldn’t agree more. We love working with Sci-Mx and hope the partnership lasts long past those protein bags moving from the garage and into the kitchen, next to the snacks, giving anyone peckish pause on which to grab first.