By 1997, I had improved our formula three times until it was perfected. We trademarked the tagline, “The Best-Tasting Protein on the Planet” and I hawked my protein at health food stores in the San Diego area, Orange County, and LA. Sadly at the time, I was rejected by almost all health food stores. They simply refused to carry our Whey Protein. The buyers liked my Egg White Protein, which had been a top seller for them since 1990, and claimed they had no more shelf space. Also, many other brands of whey protein began to appear and had already filled up the shelves at their stores. I was typecast as a producer of Egg White Protein and they could not see me producing whey, even though we had pioneered some of the nation’s first formulas.
Frustration set in as store after store turned me down. So I turned frustration into elation by taking action! I leased a space in a strip mall in Encinitas, California, and opened Jay Robb’s Nutrition Center, which featured Jay Robb Whey Protein, along with our entire line of nutritional products. I also moved our warehouse and offices to the strip mall so I could run the nutrition center and the company from one location.
This proved to be one of the smartest moves in the company’s history. As customers flocked to our store, I offered them FREE samples of my new Whey Protein for them to taste test. I mixed the protein in water so the customers knew exactly how my protein tasted without having to mix it in juice or something sweet. To make a long story short, our Whey Protein began to fly off our shelves and soon the same customers were demanding that their local health food stores carry Jay Robb Whey Protein.
Over time, the pressure on the stores increased to such a high level that the stores started calling us to order our Whey Protein. We gladly filled the orders, got the stores set up with huge displays, and proceeded to turn Jay Robb Protein into the #1 premium brand in America.
To get our protein to fly off the shelves, I offered tasting demos at every store. I also conducted weight-loss seminars on Wednesday nights at stores in San Diego, Orange County, and LA. This one-two punch put Jay Robb on the map! But wait, there is more!
Word was spreading across the nation about Jay Robb Protein. With very little advertising, and word of mouth combined with the efforts of our sales team, soon Jay Robb Protein was in thousands of stores. With sales going off the charts, we once again moved our offices and warehouse to a larger location in Carlsbad, California. I converted our nutrition center into a fitness center and began teaching the members how to realize the body of their dreams.
Around 1999, the FDA had eased up on the regulation of the herb stevia and we were allowed to list it on our protein labels, but could not call it a sweetener. Now the cat was out of the bag as our secret ingredient was revealed and before long, the copycats came out in droves trying to duplicate the Jay Robb formula. Using stevia in a formula is no easy task, which our competitors soon discovered. Like I always say, “We are often imitated, but never duplicated.”
In that same year, with the help of my friend Kita (KitaFit.com), I landed a weekly spot on KUSI Channel 9 News as, The Fat Burning Chef. Each week, I appeared and showed viewers how to make FAT-BURNING meals in minutes. This gig lasted four straight years and also included a radio show of the same name. With greater exposure, protein sales continued to climb rapidly.