Inline Nutrition marketing and sales manager Polly Withers and Seperex Nutritionals director Lawrence Alloo show off Inline Nutrition's range of protein powders. Photo by Linda Robertson.
When University of Otago graduate Polly Withers started
researching protein powders last year, she knew nothing about
protein or nutritional products.
''I thought it was just for guys who wanted to become big at
the gym,'' she said.
While her research led to the discovery of what a ''massive''
market it was, from mid-teens through to people in their 60s,
she also realised how many protein supplements had
unnecessary artificial additives.
A gap was identified in the market for a natural New
Zealand-made whey protein.
Over the past seven months, a range of three whey protein
powders have been developed and Dunedin-based company Inline
Nutrition began production this month.
For Miss Withers (21), now the company's marketing and sales
manager, it has been a rare opportunity to be involved with a
business from research through to launch and everything in
That included working on product formulation, website design,
product design and now marketing.
Brought up on a farm near Methven, she graduated from
university with a marketing degree last year.
Around that time, Lawrence Alloo, a shareholder and director
of Seperex Nutritionals, was looking for someone to conduct
research into protein powders.
Once the research report was completed, Miss Withers worked
closely with the food science department at the University of
Otago, along with utilising the skills at Seperex, to develop
''Endless hours'' had been spent tweaking the recipes and
ensuring the right flavour balance was achieved.
Flavour was the biggest challenge, Mr Alloo said.
The ingredients were all naturally sourced, with as many of
them as possible coming from New Zealand.
The dairy stream came from New Zealand, while the flavours
were sourced from overseas.
Inline proteins were the only proteins in the world to be
sweetened with dried monk fruit juice, a low-calorie natural
Miss Withers said the company's target audience was
''everyone'' from elite athletes through to vegetarians
wanting an easy source of protein.
The New Zealand market was being targeted initially, all
online driven, and there was potential for export in the
future, Mr Alloo said.
There was also the prospect of complementary lines, such as
bars, green tea and ready-to-go drinks.