Sales set to rocket as The Protein Works pumps-up

A SMALL firm born out of a regional success story is flexing its own muscles with impressive growth and an national award nomination.

The Protein Works, which is based at Manor Park, Runcorn, has seen staff numbers grow from six in 2012 to more than 30, and while annual sales are on track to top £6m in the year to the end of November, up from £2.25m in 2013, its first full year of trading.

Such growth – and its social media reach of around two million people- has earned the company a place on the shortlist of The National Business Awards in the new business of the year category.

The Protein Works, which sells online only, was founded by three former employees of MyProtein – the Manchester-based health supplements business built up and sold to The Hut Group by entrepreneur Oliver Cookson for £58m –  and the move to go it alone looks to have been a wise move.
The business believes its success is down to innovation – from making a bespoke custom-made recovery formula for Everton Football Club – to launching products such as  protein pancakes, protein porridge, bite-sized protein treats and even protein crisps.
Co-founder, and head of development, Nick Smith said: “When we launched back in December 2012 we had a very clear vision about what we wanted to achieve. We invested heavily in innovative production processes that could manufacture new formats and formulas, and now it seems that investment is paying off.
“Our commitment to only use all natural colours and flavours helps too, We were the first in the UK to use these across our entire range and I think this coupled with using traditional, and on trend, flavours like lemon shortcake and cherry bakewell makes our products far more appealing to the mainstream audience.”

Looking ahead Mr Smith adds: “We’ve had a great first year but we feel the best is yet to come. We’ve a pipeline of totally unique products and are joining forces with experts outside the sector to combine expertise in what will be some pretty exciting collaborations.”

Developing its own voice on social media has been important too. The Protein Works has 85,000 Twitter followers, 55,000 Facebook followers, its own forum has 70,000 members while it has 2,000 Google+  members and 10,000 Instagram followers.

Mark Coxhead,  and other of the fouders and head of marketing, said: “It’s amazing that our customers share our passion for sports nutrition. We’re constantly inundated with recipes and workout ideas from customers using our products and ingredients. It really does seem that protein is going mainstream and health and fitness conscious consumers are taking it into their own hands to innovate and eat healthy.”