by Matt Weik
I flipped through my Facebook feed and came across a post by Bill Phillips that I noticed. It had a big picture of an old EAS phosphagen creatine bottle and the headline: “Coming back this summer: the original EAS Performance supplements. EAS 2.0 – build better bodies with SCIENCE. "
To say that I was shocked to see this was an understatement. I went over to his side to find another post that said EAS will be back this summer and showed a picture of the Myoplex meal replacement box. I sent a message directly to Bill to see if I could get a glimpse of this story, but I hadn't heard from him at the time of writing. I mean, who am I? LOL. After everything that I can see at the end, he has never seen my message.
Can Bill Phillips get EAS up and running again?
After reading 200 comments on the posts, it's clear that people are excited to see what Bill Phillips can do with EAS when he's behind the wheel. To be honest, I'm excited about it. Call me old school, but back when I started training and taking supplements, the big players were MET-Rx, Labrada, and EAS. And then everything had the taste profile of chalk and cardboard. Obviously, taste systems have changed and things have improved, but EAS was one of the largest supplement companies in the world.
In the comment section, Bill Phillips mentioned that he is bringing back the EAS supplements, but not a complete list of what I've seen. He mentioned that Myoplex and Myoplex Lite will be back. He mentioned that he is bringing back both the bars and the creatine. Apart from that, I would be interested in what else it starts and in what period. I saw that he has another launch for September and that the first launch will be sometime in summer 2020.
For those who don't know all the details and background stories, the brand announced in July 2018 that they would discontinue the entire EAS line and essentially disappear for good. I don't think that many people were so shocked when EAS lost many properties in supplement stores and their total sales and brand loyalty were nothing compared to then.
We take you back … back … Bill Phillips was the owner and CEO of EAS. In 1996, he paid out EAS and sold it for only $ 160 million. I say "only" because in today's crazy acquisition heavy industry there is next to nothing compared to the deals that are thrown around. Heck, Quest Nutrition was sold for $ 1 billion. Well, I'm not saying it was bad business for Bill Phillips, after all, I don't know anyone who would resist a fat $ 160 million payday.
Can Bill come back and make it work? Honestly, if anyone knew how to get the EAS brand up and running, it was Bill Phillips. I think with his creativity, his name and his passion he could bring EAS back and make it successful again. Will it be as big as it was in the 90s? I don't think so, but only time will tell.
Is it too late for EAS?
If you speak to someone in the specialist channel like the supplement stores and retailers, many of them have refused to bring in EAS products after leaving them high and dry and going to bed with big box retailers, mass markets and wholesalers. You can find EAS products at Walmart, Sam’s Club, and many other locations at a fraction of the price that gyms and supplement stores have sold them for. Essentially, EAS has turned its back on what made it so big, and supplement retailers have never forgotten that.
How will everyone like Bill Phillips again? Or maybe he's not looking for it? But you can't go back to retailers asking for a second chance while you continue to sell the products in places like Walmart and Sam & # 39; s Club, which they basically sell at a price that's close to the point that the retailers would buy them for. What is the real benefit at this point in time when the brand is reintroduced?
Not to mention that retailers won't (in my opinion) greet EAS back with open arms – even if Bill Phillips leads the brand again. In my opinion, what Abbott did with EAS destroyed the brand. There is no other way to get this message across. EAS became greedy, killed the business that put it on the card, and then disappeared without retailers worrying about the brand being discontinued.
The hardest part is that consumers are trained to look for EAS in wholesale locations and the mass market. Will they go to a supplement store, go out of their way just to buy EAS? I do not believe that. Not only that, but nobody asks about the brand. EAS bled to death over the years, which is why they ended up doing business. I feel that it will take a lot of work to bring it back, but I am sure that Bill is up to the challenge.
I have a feeling that EAS will encounter the same problem that MET-Rx has faced over the years and that is relevant. Nobody asks for one of the two brands anymore. With so many new and innovative brands using patented ingredients with a lot of hype, brands like MET-Rx and EAS, which are more basic and conservative by today's standards, will never really gain market share. They are "your father's supplementary brands". I heard that all the time when I worked for MET-Rx. That and "I didn't know you were still in business." Yes, good times in the field (no, not really).
The bar market has changed. The meal replacement market has changed. The market for RTD protein shakes has changed. Creatine has changed. It is evolving or dying and I am not sure if EAS will ever go back to where it was as a brand. That doesn't mean they still can't do well in the industry. I just don't see them as leaders and powerful in the industry anymore.
I wish Bill Phillips all the best because he has a bumpy road ahead of him. I would like to get my hands on all the products they bring out to see how they are compared to the old products and what is on the market today. I'm also excited to see if new products are in the works and where Bill plans to sell his regained EAS brand.