Samworth Brothers shuts down loss-making Sci-Mx sports nutrition business

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The chilled-food manufacturer, which acquired the brand in 2015, has confirmed the Sci-Mx business will close on July 31st 2021.

Supreme Imports, a European supplier, manufacturer and distributor of wholesale batteries, lighting, vaping, sports nutrition and household products, has purchased £1.3m worth of Sci-Mx and Pro2Go stock as well as the ability to use the brand name in the future.

A spokesperson for Samworth Brothers said: Despite strong levels of investment and a highly committed team, the business has been loss making for several years. We are doing everything we can to support Sci-Mx colleagues find suitable alternative roles, including offering opportunities for redeployment to other Samworth Brothers business locations. It is never an easy decision to close a business. 

“However, the sports nutrition sector has changed dramatically over the last few years.  We have concluded that the business is not at a scale where we can make it work and the levels of investment that would be needed to achieve this do not make good economic sense. 

“Supreme Imports plc has purchased the stock in the warehouse and the ability to use the brand name in the future.”

England-based Supreme (listed on the London Stock Exchange sub-market AIM) says its acquisition adds a number of leading and long-established retail brands to the its growing Sports Nutrition & Wellness category across protein powders and supplements.

The firm adds this acquisition will allow it to leverage the Sci-Mx and Pro2Go brands to grow existing relationships with retailers, as well as cross-sell these brands into Supreme’s significant client base and through the Group’s online platform. Supreme’s retail clients include Asda, Poundland, Iceland and Spar.

Supreme has also secured a 52,000 sq ft manufacturing and distribution facility one mile from its existing Trafford Park site.

Sandy Chadha, Chief Executive Officer of Supreme, commented: “We are delighted to have acquired these well-known brands, which provide a complementary fit with our existing and fast-growing Sports Nutrition & Wellness product portfolio. The Acquisition not only broadens our product offering and delivers further scale to this segment, but also leaves us ideally placed to create additional sales traction across our extensive retail footprint in what is becoming an ever more important category for the Group.”

NPD investments

The company began in 2007 when sports nutrition was still a niche category in the UK. Sci-Mx Nutrition set out to make quality products for the active UK market and, in doing so, helped sports nutrition become a mainstream category.

The company’s core focus has been on high protein nutrition, with protein powder blends and convenient, on-the-go snacks and ready to drinks as well as a broad range of muscle building supplements including before, during and after workout drinks. 

In 2018, the brand opted to muscle-in on a new consumer market by entering supermarket chillers with a new range of calorie controlled ready meal with ‘well-balanced macros’ and more than 30g of protein per portion.

Targeting health-conscious but time-poor consumers, the range of four meals named EatFit, went on sale in the fresh ready meals section of Tesco stores.

In 2019, the brand launched its Pro2go brand, aiming to tap into the fast growing everyday active consumer market. The brand was launched with a wide range of new products including: gooey low sugar bars, for those wanting healthy indulgence; 50g protein flapjacks for a filling snack with extra protein; raw bars for consumers looking for plant-based and ‘natural’ products; and light protein crisps for low calorie savoury snackers.

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