Nutrition supplements, meal replacements and dietary aids are parts of the whole that make up an $8 billion a year industry.
But did you know a portion of those profits are being made right in Marcellus? The company is called iPro Nutrition and the products are sold at Ja Spa. But in the last few weeks, the business has expanded and launched its own Web site, said Michael Schumer, executive vice president of operations.
"It's a site, an online retail site for sports and nutritional supplements," he said, adding that the supplements are for serious gym enthusiasts, body builders and dieters.
The supplements offered by the company are not steroids, which are illegal, but rather natural enhancement products to help build muscle and trim fat.
To supply the shelves at Ja Spa and to get products out to Internet customers quickly, Schumer said there is about $1 million worth of inventory stored in a warehouse locally.
"Surprisingly we've gotten a significant amount of traffic (on the Web site)," Schumer said.
Orders have come in from across the nation, and much of that can be attributed to the low prices iPro Nutrition can offer customers.
"(They are) absolutely the best prices you can find anywhere," said Brandon Boyer, co-manager of Ja Spa.
According to Schumer, price and customer service are the two advantages iPro Nutrition has over the competitor. The company is also able to do same-day shipping if Internet orders are in by 4 p.m.
"It's as immediate as we can make it," he said.
Extensive research was put into building the inventory and in finding the best prices, which they come in lowest in every category, Schumer said.
"Our goal is really to be the Wal-Mart, if you will, of the supplement industry," he said.
One of the business' other main goals is to provide the best possible pricing for its consumers, and even in the tough economic state, Schumer said he has not noticed much of a drop off in supplement sales. Then again, it could be that to conserve on cost, people are taking reduced doses of the products, he said.