Medi-Evil Nutrition: Our Story So Far: To know or to understand the brand is to know the man that stands behind it. My Name is Lee Paterson, I am the founder of Medi-Evil Nutrition. For those of you that don’t know me one way or another, I’ve been involved in fitness, bodybuilding, and sports nutrition for 40 years, I was also a columnist for Health and Strength magazine so I guess you could say that I know my way around this industry. Having retired from competitive bodybuilding I ran a sports nutrition shop (99nutrition, Romford) and an online business in Romford, Essex. In 2016 I sold the businesses so I could concentrate on my Medi-Evil Nutrition brand.
I never made much money as I was probably too honest for my own good. If a customer came in with 3 products in mind to purchase, if I had a product in stock that contained all of the ingredients or properties that they needed I would sell the one and save them from having to buy two more products unnecessarily, which I very much doubt many shopkeepers would do as honesty doesn’t pay the bills.
I once had two teenagers that were passing by popped in my shop after already purchasing their supplements from a rival company in town. We got chatting and they showed me their purchases, these guys were young and had just started at the gym. They had both been sold around £150 worth of products that they didn’t actually need including pro-hormones. As they were young and new to fitness I thought was highly immoral and was more likely to do them more harm than good. I’ve had many newbies in my shop that wanted advanced products and I wouldn’t sell them to them. I always professed that you could grow naturally for the first couple of years and when the gains stall that’s the time to introduce other things. I remember one guy that wanted to buy a 2.25kg tub of Dymatize hydrolyzed whey that was reduced from £124.99 down to £59.99. He wanted it because it was on offer at less than half price and for no other reason, this guy had only been training for 5 minutes but I couldn’t manage to persuade him that it was over spec’d and he would be wasting his money. Something in the middle ground would have suited him better and save him money.
I remember when I started training in 1980 I went to my local parade of shops to buy some multivitamins from the chemist. Seven Seas, a big brand that are still around today but unbeknown to me at the time this type of product was for the layman, just ordinary people that wanted a top-up of vitamins and not for bodybuilding purposes. I would have needed to consume the whole pot to get what I needed for a daily dose! It was a clear case of buy cheap and get exactly what you paid for, my ignorance still makes me blush lol!
Word soon spread about my shop because I was there to give good honest advice, and I wasn’t just in business to see how much money I could get out of people. One thing I taught my customers before buying supplements was to read the label as the label can’t lie (well not without breaking the law!). I’ve had people in my shop asking for products that they have read about on social media. They would ask me why I didn’t stock it, or if I could get it for them. I would bring up the ingredients table of the product online and would demonstrate why this so-called best protein, fat burner, or a pre-workout was all marketing hype and why it wasn’t good enough to be in my shop. Sadly the new owner moved on after a few years and my old shop now sells and installs fire alarms.
This “best product” could have contained high amounts of inferior proteins e.g. pea, rice, soy and milk proteins rather than isolate or hydrolysed proteins. The fat burner may have had over 20 different ingredients in it to make that special by having all these wonderful things in it but they are most likely just labels claims, as the ingredients themselves may well be fantastic but were totally ineffective in such low dosages. What would be the point in having an ingredient present if 1000mgs were needed as an effective dose but it only contained 50mg? It looks good on the label but it’s not worth a carrot.
If a product contains 6 ingredients all of which were at their most effective dose then it’s better than a product with 20 plus great ingredients but all at such low levels that they don’t actually work. The brand will write about all these wonderful ingredients that make their product so special but it’s all hype, as what they’re telling you is true about the ingredient, but you can only fit all the ingredients in a capsule if you use very low doses, as the ingredients are all competing for space. The trick is to get the right selection of ingredients and use the best that work in the smallest doses. An expensive ingredient may look great on a label but if that product had only say, 1 or 2% then it’s not in that product to be beneficial it’s only in that product to look great on the label.
After many years in the business I became aware that some of the biggest brands actually made the cheapest products. Let’s say a top brand made a fat burner cheaply then sold it to wholesale, trade, and even better to the end-user. Let’s say it sold for £25 to the end-user, and a small specialised company makes an advanced fat burner that costs 3 times more to produce. The top brand has made 3 times the profit of the little brand which means that have a huge marketing budget while the small brand has spent all of their money on development and what goes in the pot so they have little or no money for marketing so they stay small.
In 2011 USN sent NBBA Mr Universe Dave Titterton down from Sheffield to do a USN sample testing day with fellow bodybuilder Carly Thornton. Dave said he was on over £40k a year plus extra for jobs like shop opening etc so it must have cost NSN over £1,000 for that day to field the two athletes to promote their products. Well, it’s not hard to guess who was paying for that – the consumer of course! If these products were expensive to produce they wouldn’t have the money to spend on that kind of marketing. People are given the impression that they too could get a body like Dave, when it couldn’t be further than the truth.
Let’s make a comparison, if my memory serves me right USN Diet Fuel was 45% protein and the proteins were concentrate, milk, and soya while Medi-Evil Nutrition Excalibur Diet Whey was 72% protein which contains all 3 important wheys (concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzed whey). Our diet whey was probably the highest spec’d diet whey on the market but it had to be withdrawn as it cost so much to build that there was no profit whatsoever for us to be able to promote it.
A 25g scoop of Excalibur diet whey contained 19g of protein while USN diet fuel was 25g of protein with a massive 55g serving so you needed more than double the serving to get just 6g more protein than Excalibur and yet the USN diet fuel was the fastest-selling product of its kind 10 years ago. This goes to show you how easy it is to get taken in by marketing hype, had people compared the labels and not got carried away with the marketing hype our groundbreaking product could have been on top instead of being buried. I guess one could say that we were a victim of our own success. Or you might even say that people get misled into buying inferior products if they don’t do their research.
When I gave any advice in my shop I’d always ask people to Google these facts as everything I told them would stand up to any scrutiny. Now please feel free to check out what I just told you with the USN/Medi-Evil comparison to see the facts from Holland and Barrett here and here
Our Story So Far USN Diet Fuel VS Excalibur Diet Whey
Excalibur failed to win fans but had more than double the protein content of its rival. Excalibur contained high-end proteins rather than having a high percentage of milk and soya content. It had fewer calories, less fat, and lower carbs. It cost the same to buy but would have been double the cost of its rival to produce which left no money for marketing, promotions and advertising. This proves my theory that the huge profits to be gained by low production costs equals big sales and large growth. The little guy doesn’t have a chance as word of mouth from satisfied customers is never enough to keep the product on the market.
The winner is almost certainly the cheaper build product every time, as a top formula is expensive to produce with little or no profit, as you can’t demand a higher price for the better product because you are unknown. Who was it that said “cheats never prosper”? Lol!
I once asked a brand owner that I had known for a number of years about a couple of his best-selling products, “are they very effective?” I asked, and his reply was “no, but they sell well and don’t cost me much to produce”. This was a turning point in my career, I felt that people deserved better and I was going to do my best to give it to them. Now, nine years later, with 3 awards under my belt, each and every year we have made a loss. Yes, it’s a crap business model but then it’s about so much more than money to me. Just show me a better fat burner than Excalibur, or a better pre-workout than Warfare and I’ll give you the shirt off my back.
My brother (ex-pro bodybuilder and judge) Lloyd Paterson used to work for a rival brand, and he boasted having tested my pre-workout; “Our TNT is just as good as your Warfare” only for me to point out that our strength comes from just a 5mg serving while TNT was 10mg, If you took 10mg of Warfare it would blow your socks off!
Take Grenade Thermo Detonator, the market leader of the fat burners. This is also an award-winning fat burner like ours, only unlike ours it’s a global success because Grenade have a huge marketing budget, whereas we have no marketing budget because the product is hugely expensive to produce, so we have to rely on repeat business and word of mouth. Also, there aren’t as many repeat sales because Excalibur lasts twice as long as its rivals. Grenade uses a 00 size capsule while we use 000 which is the largest available and can hold 40% more ingredients.
Some brands use filling and packing agents such as magnesium stearate or titanium dioxide to fast load the capsule shells which reduces production costs. We went down the clean route using only 100% active ingredients (no fillers), but to achieve this we had to have a specialist company from Germany modify our equipment to run without fillers. It worked a treat but we can only fill 25,000 capsules per hour rather than 40,000, so machine time is almost double.
These 2 filling/packing agents are not in Grenade with your health in mind, they’re there for cost-effectiveness, and if you care to click on the links you will see they’re not a benefit to your health. Titanium dioxide is actually on the “your right to know warning list“. Check this out for yourself (Can Titanium Dioxide cause cancer?) There is much talk of this on the internet but we chose not to include them in our product as we don’t feel they’re safe to include in our products.
Our capsule shells are not made from Gelatin which means they are Vegan and Vegetarian friendly so our Muslim community can use Excalibur fat burners. Going forward anything that we make in the future will be produced to the same high standard – 100% active ingredients, vegan friendly, and free of packing agents.
Please name me (if you can) another fat burner that had so much thought and development because I for one can’t think of any. Some retailers criticise Excalibur for being too slow to sell, as the dosage is only 1 to 2 capsules daily compared with 4 capsules daily with Grenade. So I guess you could say we shot ourselves in the foot for being so effective that our new 90 capsule box with a free 30 capsule refill pouch can last for up to 120 days rather than Grenade’s 40 days.
I can’t knock cheap honest products, everything is made for a price and to suit different people’s pockets. Myprotein is very successful and good luck to them, while they build products at one end of the price and quality scale we build ours at the other. I often liken sports nutrition brands to car brands. Your top middle and bottom may look like this, Rolls Royce, BMW, and Dacia. They are all good at what they do and all are made for a certain clientele and to suit different needs and pockets. I sold dozens of brands during my time in retail and I considered them all to be good honest brands but what I never liked was the Dacia’s pretending to be the Rolls Royce; dressed up nicely with lots of money thrown at the marketing which fooled anyone with limited knowledge, and most of these brands are a global success. Myprotein has never pretended to be Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard; they make the cheapest products possible to the end consumer and they are very good and honest about what they do.
Sour grapes you may say? No, I set out to make a premium brand and give people what they paid for not cheap formulations and bullshit. Don’t forget; you are paying for those impressive exhibitions, you are paying to hire top athletes to say great things about these brands. If you want to hear the truth then do some research otherwise it would be no better than listening to a Jehovah’s Witness and being convinced after reading the leaflet that they gave you from that’s published by the Watch Tower Society who are all in it together. A car main agent will tell you their that cars are the best so that’s why it best to look at independent tests from publications like Which Car so the advice is honest rather than being biased.
I have no regrets, after all, I have achieved what I set out to do: to make top-quality honest products. I am currently formulating a sister brand that will be aimed at the middle territory so that our products will be more price accessible for the consumer. This brand obviously won’t be all-singing and all-dancing but then people that train for fun don’t need high spec expensive products, and there are far more people who train for pleasure than those that are competitive athletes. I feel that we need to cater to this larger audience as well over 90% of the people that bought products from my shop trained for fun, and this was my favorite audience as I liked passing on my knowledge (whether they liked it or not lol!).
Check out my new project:
All being well our sister brand could be on sale in Holland and Barrett later this year. We are still busy with design and formulations and then comes the compliance and testing. You will find updates on our blog and we have 2 new columnists on our team, Sav (the training coach to the professionals) who is the owner of Muscleworks Gym and Mr Vio, a famous and well-respected practitioner of complementary therapies.
Until the next time