Grenade is an Explosive Global Success
By Graeme Brown for BirminghamPost.net
A “fat-burning” product created by a husband and wife team in the West Midlands has been exported to more than 100 countries – including Iraq and Iran.
Alan and Juliet Barratt’s products, called the Grenade Thermo Detonator, has become an export success within two years of the business being established.
The company, based on the Radway Industrial Estate in Solihull, already turns over £1 million, of which 30 per cent comes from exports, after securing deals with US sports nutrition retailer GNC, among others.
And, after agreeing a deal with Sportika Export, it has opened up generally untapped markets like Iran and Iraq, as well as South Africa, Egypt and India.
Ms Barratt said the name harks back to the product’s military roots and it uses props like a 55-tonne military tank to promote itself at exhibitions.
She said: “We had some friends who are in the forces who came to us because they were applying to the SAS and obviously there is a very strict fitness regime and there was nothing that they could use that would give them energy for training.
"My husband started working on a formula and it was only when they tried it and said it blew their socks off that we came up with the name grenade.”
Sales of Grenade – which increases body temperature to burn more calories in workouts – have more than doubled between its first and second year.
The company anticipates that by the end of its third year, exports will be 50 per cent of turnover.
The product, which works when combined with a high-protein, calorie controlled diet and exercise routine, is made in North America and packed in the UK.
After the company enlisted the help of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in the West Midlands, the product also has distributors in France, Germany, Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Bulgaria and Poland.
Ms Barratt said the two directors will be joined by 10 UK athletes to promote the product in the US later this year, and believes military-style branding has played a major role in its success.
She said: “We put a lot of effort into our unique branding and we like to be creative. For example, at the first exhibition we attended – a UK fitness show in Birmingham – instead of the usual booth we took a risk and used a 55-tonne military tank which, along with all our Grenade branding, made a huge impact.
“As a result we got lots of interest, including from GNC, which really helped us get off to a flying start.
“We are now one of the first ever UK sports supplement companies to launch in the US. But although the packaging is eye-catching, the real key to our success is that our product really works.
“The combination of ingredients has been clinically researched and has proven fat burning properties. Although the packaging might grab people’s attention initially, the product has to work for people to buy it again.”
The couple, who previously ran a business distributing sports nutrition products, are currently Grenade’s sole employees, but they plan to take on an additional two members of staff by the end of the year.
Jane Matty, UKTI international trade adviser at Birmingham and Solihull Chamber of Commerce, said: “Juliet and Alan are a dedicated and hard-working team who have made Grenade the success it is today.
‘‘They have established the company in the UK, and crucially in the US and European markets in a remarkably short time.
“I look forward to working with Grenade to help them develop their offer in the future,” he said.