Banking on natural trend, MusclePharm looks to expand retail penetration

DENVER — MusclePharm earlier this week reported significant progress towards expanding its reach through retail, thanks in part to the recent launch of its Natural Series, a line of plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO premium products that appeal to an expanding customer segment that seek organic alternatives to the traditional nutritional products and supplements.

"The launch of Natural Series has presented an opportunity for MusclePharm to expand not only its product range but also our distribution reach," Brian Casutto, EVP sales and operations, MusclePharm, told investors Monday. "One very positive development during the quarter was getting Natural Series into Sprouts Farmers Market," he said. "Sprouts is a major natural grocer and household name across the U.S. It operates 270 stores nationwide and is renowned for being a leader in the affordable and healthy food market which is exactly the consumer base Natural Series is targeting."

Beyond Sprouts, MusclePharm is in ongoing discussions with additional potential retailer distribution partners, Casutto said. "Our distribution strategy remains to drive MusclePharm products through both brick-and-mortar and online outlets. While brick-and-mortar stores continue to face challenges, we are confident that the broad rollout of Natural Series, combined with exciting upcoming new product launches, will drive the expanded sales through specialty retail channels and chains such as the Vitamin Shoppe."

Within the online segment, MusclePharm continued to see strength in online sales in the second quarter, driven by an expanded contribution of Amazon and several other online retailers. Amazon accounted for 12% of the company's total revenues in the second quarter, up from 6% in Q1 of 2017.

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