Joe Welstead is a man on a mission… a mission to give active people the healthy supplements they can’t find anywhere else. Like so many entrepreneurs in this sector, Joe’s business came about because of his own failure to find the health products he needed.
Joe is owner and cofounder of Motion Nutrition — a sports supplement business that uses real ingredients to create healthy supplements.
Joe’s story began in France, where he grew up. Like so many French people, he developed a passion for real food. And after moving to Scotland, he started on the path towards becoming a professional swimmer. This love of sport and food gave Joe a new perspective on the fuel he was putting into his body.
But there was a problem: Joe just couldn’t find the healthy, food-based supplements he wanted. At the time, all of the products available were filled with unhealthy, unnatural ingredients. Yes, they delivered short-term benefits, but he was worried about the long-term impact of filling his body with chemical compounds.
Joe decided if he couldn’t buy the natural products he needed to power his intensive training, he would create them himself. And thus, Motion Nutrition was born.
Joe said: “I was training twice a day, so I needed a new approach to nutrition. I knew about healthy food, so when I started looking for the supplements I needed, I was shocked at the lack of choice.
“I soon realised that manufacturers were only concerned about the headline-grabbing short-term goals of commercial supplements. I found this frustrating, as everyone from everyday fitness enthusiasts to elite athletes want healthy supplements.
“I found myself questioning why people want supplements. The end goal is to consume the nutrients we can’t get into our bodies the natural way. I soon realised that there was a big market for healthy, food-based supplements.”
Motion Nutrition is born
In 2016, Joe launched Motion Nutrition with his partner. His first job was to find a nutritionist, who would work on the recipes and ingredients required to realise Joe’s vision. He then had to reach out to supplier across the world in search of the right ingredients at the right price.
Joe is an exponent of a truly balanced, varied diet, so he was a little surprised when he discovered that the vast majority of what was available was vegan. He struggled to find dairy products.
He said: “I was determined to create healthy food products, rather than simple supplements. It took me a while to find the natural ingredients I needed. But all of our products are now natural and certified organic.”
How is the supplement market changing?
When asked about the current state of the supplements market, Joe was very positive.
He said: “The market is growing quickly right now. The ready-to-drink market in particular is growing at an incredible rate — around 20% a year.
“I think there’s also a growing demand for healthy supplements. More and more big companies and brands are focussing on the health aspect, which is good to see. But the changes to the actual products are limited. Most of the changes I see relate to the branding or packaging — they’re only minor changes.
“As far as I know, we’re the only supplements company in the UK offering a full range of organic products.”
Joe has already overcome some big challenges
Motion Nutrition continues to go from strength to strength — driven by the growing demand for healthy, food-based supplements. However, things haven’t always been easy for Joe and his partner.
He said: “We had to overcome quite a few challenges at first. It was much harder to source organic ingredients than I’d thought. Finding all the ingredients to create functional products that remained healthy was tough.
“Another challenge we faced was simply getting our name out there. There are so many big brands and huge companies in the marketplace, so competing for attention was difficult.
“Many of our competitors have huge marketing and advertising budgets. Not only that, they all use similar text to describe their products. Developing brand recognition has been much harder than we expected.”
Joe received some valuable advice along the way
Like any successful entrepreneur, Joe sought advice from several sources at the beginning of his journey.
He said: “I received some excellent practical advice from real business people quite early on. I remember one very wealthy business woman gave men 45 minutes of her time for free, which was amazing.
“This very successful woman advised that I reduce my packaging size in order to make the retail price more accessible. We basically went from charging £50 per pack to £25, bringing it into the impulse purchase category.”
What does the future hold for Joe and Motion Nutrition?
Joe and his business partner have already achieved a great deal in a relatively short space of time. But they’re not resting on their laurels. Like so many of the most successful entrepreneurs, they continue to work hard at building their brand.
Joe said: “Our main goal is to expand the brand. We want to expand our portfolio of products, but we can’t rush things.
“We also want to improve the customer experience. Basically, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to choose healthy lifestyle options. We don’t just want to target athletes, we want to target anyone who struggles to make healthy eating options… even travelling salespeople.”
Joe also has ambitious plans to target the mind, as well as the body. His natural products are already aimed at improving physical performance, but he wants to develop new supplements that improve mental performance and lifestyle issues such as sleep quality.
Joe offers a few pearls of wisdom to fellow entrepreneurs
Joe has learned a huge amount about business in a short space of time, and he’s keen to share his experiences with would-be entrepreneurs everywhere.
He said: “Don’t be reluctant to talk about your idea. A lot of people are afraid that someone will steal their big idea, but you need to be prepared to reach out for advice wherever possible. Because I wasn’t afraid to discuss my idea with the right people, I was able to get lots of useful feedback.
“I’d also tell people to find a partner who brings something slightly different to the table. Yes, have a common goal, but the people you work with should have different skill-sets and approaches.
“Above all, never be afraid to ask for help. I asked a very wealthy and successful businesswoman for advice, and she gave me an hour of her time for free!”
Joe Welstead now has a thriving — and growing — business, which is improving lives everyday. His story isn’t just uplifting; it’s truly inspirational.
What Do You Do?
CEO & head of sales at Motion Nutrition
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Telepathic communication at scale (for example, instantly convincing the whole of the UK population to quit smoking)
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Running a world-leading health and wellbeing company, providing easily accessible, health-enhancing food, snacks and supplements.