One of the most frustrating and challenging things whilst creating exzo has been finding great suppliers and manufacturers to work with to create what we really need. Ones whom I could wholeheartedly trust to be the best fit for the job of creating the products and vision I was after, naturally, professionally and to the standards that other companies never obviously push for. It has been a struggle to find anyone who aligns with our goals and our exzo mission which is really a shame but also a complete eye-opener on the whole industry altogether and how much of a mess it really is from my personal experience.
To put it into true perspective if you don’t currently have time to read this post, it’s like trying to eat out at a restaurant with food intolerances or sensitivities. The people behind these businesses, or at least the staff are untrained. As someone who follows a strict gluten, dairy, nightshade free, Paleo and currently AIP lifestyle this would be the best way to put it for me and anyone following the same will agree with me how hard and frustrating it is trying to eat out, unless you really trust the restaurant, chefs, and staff there that understand your needs.
I mean, I even know of so-called high-end restaurants around my way where the staff do not even have facilities to wash their own hands, drop food and put it straight back on people’s plates (from insiders)! Good luck with non-contamination there. Going out to a restaurant you inform chefs, staff members, managers, waitresses and still end up with something on your plate that’s not supposed to be in their period! You ask if something’s dairy free for certain (even after you’ve just made certain they understand your allergies and how serious they are) and they say yeah the rice is fine, then you check with the chef and then it’s “oh it’s actually only got a little butter in it but it’s not much”, or all the eggs have been taken out its egg free so it’s dairy free.
Sorry to rant on but the moral of the story is everyone’s not trained enough in the health and food industry and it’s sad in a day and age like this, especially when our allergies can cause serious problems, even death for some of us. Everyone at restaurants who work there serving food should be thoroughly trained in allergies and hold specific qualifications as if it’s a serious matter because it clearly is and very much missed.
If you read my personal story you will understand that I’m mostly like you in the sense that we both share the same passion of creating a healthier life for ourselves, our family and future generations to come, as well as receiving and relying on a disgraceful health care system when we’ve needed it most. In a way, this has let me on a mission for a healthier way of life and sent me on a personal mission and journey in both my business and in continued study whilst gifting me with the passion, energy, and motivation for learning as much as possible about health in general.
As stated from a personal development book I once read, “always find the positive from the negative”, and in this situation, I’m extremely grateful that my health condition has led me on a mission of creating a healthier way of life and associating my life with exzo to create superior natural health based products. Although it’s continually a heartache manufacturing products and educating the people and manufacturers themselves on how it should be done properly, it is still the most grateful eye opener and challenge I have ever received and had to personally face and for this I am truly thankful.
By creating superior products for myself and trying to help and educate others on better health, I’m hoping I can persuade many others who are in my position before I started my journey to lead them on their own journey of a better life sooner rather than later. I’m hoping I can speak and touch as many lives as possible with this business, it’s my lifelong aim in opening up more peoples minds to a better, healthier and happy life for them and their loved ones. We all deserve that god given right, although we are not getting that and I have personally witnessed this with my very own eyes and personal experience in this industry.
Going back to my frustration, I am disgraced by some of the so-called top supplement and manufacturing companies in the UK and it has backed up my theory as living proof that even the supplement and manufacturing companies that we’ve all most likely been purchasing most of our healthcare products from are unprofessional, uneducated and in all honesty shockingly disgraceful.
To say the least, I am absolutely disgraced and ashamed of what I have learned. I have even visited some of these manufacturing facilities that are supplying these products and the so-called GMP practices were nowhere to be seen, and these are the manufacturers that are supplying the majority of all the top brands you have come to know and love lets just put it that way. These companies were not even wearing protective health and hygiene clothing or headgear, just standard clothing and packing powders, yes with not even gloves on handling powders and food!
No wonder so many people are finding all sorts of crap in their whey protein powders and dodgy batches from so-called reputable brands! If only people where aware of it themselves, or maybe they just don’t as most people just go for the cheapest and wonder why these products are crap and not benefiting their health in any way possible, more like declining their health and paying for it at the same time.
We haven’t even started on creating our proteins for this very exact reason, we have not found one helpful company or manufacturer that we have complete and utter faith in that will deliver a product as promised to our specifications or standards, yet even be able to deliver a decent, professional and safe product and that is what scares me the most. Anyone who knows me well would tell you that I have been noted for my ambition to always deliver 100% in all what is promised and always giving 110% into everything I put my heart and mind into. I could not give my heart and trust in a company or manufacturer that could not deliver what I envision and I always trust my gut feeling.
One of the manufacturers we wanted to use refused to even let us see the manufacturing room and kept changing the subject when we were meant to be shown around the manufacturing facilities. What are they hiding was all that went through my mind?! Manufacturers are even all selling the same tablets, powders, and capsules all imported from China, some of whom are forced to work in terrible working conditions, long hours and bad factories, then the brands put their own labels on the product and call it their own yet nobody even seems to ask why one brand's labeling information is identical to the other (that’s if it’s even labeled properly to legislation!).
Then these companies sell you on the “made in the UK” or “proudly made in the UK to GMP standards” or GMP certified manufacturing process. Well what a load of rubbish that is, there is no certification for “GMP”, what idiot made that whole thing up? I haven’t found one expert that has indicated that there is an official certification for it, it is a manufacturing process that all companies must adhere to by law, just like employees working benefits and what companies are expected to do by law for their employees.
What this really means is that the largest supplement companies are importing vitamins, minerals, and powders from abroad, either bottling them up in the UK or sticking a label on them and calling them UK made. Either way, all these vitamins are minerals are synthetically made rubbish imported from abroad then placed in a bottle or sometimes made into a custom product formula in other cases. Most of the standard oil capsules, vitamin capsules are all just synthetic rubbish, to say the least, and the saddest part is these are supplied by the brands you have come to rely on, trust and worryingly use the most!
Companies do this now because it is cheaper for them to do this already pre-made. So basically manufacturers bottle these imported capsules or tablets in bulk from China inside the UK because it’s cheaper for them instead of custom manufacturing the supplements themselves. If they make custom formulas it is costly, and nowadays it’s back to the same story of people wanting cheap and dodgy companies are all wanting cheap so they can play the “made in the UK” card when it’s hardly not, Maybe it’s imported by a British company or sourced by a British company, that makes it far from UK manufactured. This is scary for a number of reasons that are blatantly clear that you really should make note of and remember next time you’re choosing what product to use for health reasons;
• The demand is strong for premade capsules, powders, and tablets that are all synthetically made in another country that we know nothing about. (Manufacturing process, working conditions, safety, and hygiene tests to name a few?).
• It clearly shows that so many people are rather undereducated in the subject of health. So much that they are giving their money and supporting this and settling for less than what they really deserve.
• We are clearly supporting synthetically made supplements and encouraging it to the masses when it doesn’t have to be this way.
• The majority of the population want cheap and nasty but are still paying far more than they should be for a synthetic product made in China but bottled in the UK. Corporations are benefitting from increased shareholder profits.
• Companies are selling us on the benefits of their products, but not supporting how they’re made which is further encouraging their continuous growth. The growth of rubbish and unsafe products.
• Companies are undercutting each other based on price, so price wars are going on and people are further destroying a real UK made product, that may well otherwise be premium, expensive but one that is safe and real.
• People don’t know the difference between one product or the other. Which is good, which is bad? Vitamins are vitamins right, and they're all the same? NO!
I’m not saying that imported stuff is bad, I’m just saying that the majority of companies are doing it all wrong (well maybe not because the demand seems so high and they’re on the bandwagon of money making). Plus I’m not saying that these synthetically made substances aren’t helping people’s health conditions, because we do give to charities that use synthetic ingredients and we are saving many peoples lives which is amazing.
They must be helping if so many people are buying them and mentioning of health improvements, but they’re cheap and nasty in my opinion, poorly made and these ingredients should be coming from real foods, not from labs. Synthetic vitamins and minerals were apparently heavily manufactured back in the world war two era where it all started. They were made in bulk for troops rations yet still made in the same way today, but obviously a lot worse, so what happened?!
That’s my personal take anyway, everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinion. I’d rather take a real natural substance and not a synthetically made one because that’s the way it should be right?
As long as they make money right?
This is the motto of the average company. Stockholders, shares, investors, this is when the company goes from average to poor. They cut costs and reduce quality anyway they can to save money. You end up with a terrible cheap product and these corporations do not give one goddamn crap about you or my health. They want money, they want good profit statistics, they want to please their shareholders by any means possible, and that always means slashing costs and quality first. That’s exactly how great companies once worshipped end up the complete opposite, yet prices rise and product quality disappears.
Since creating exzo, many manufacturers have not wanted to do business with us or eventually make up excuses because I personally go out of my way to ensure that every aspect of the manufacturing process and importing process is to my liking. I make my products for myself and my loved ones too, so I’m never going to associate my brand with a “business” type model that is out to grab peoples money by providing the most horrendous products ever. I want products that satisfy my needs naturally, in hope that others would also appreciate them and invest in our brand and what we’re trying to achieve.
Manufacturers usually end up frustrated by our, what they class “weird questions”. Here’s a list of the best ones we hear a lot in the end.
• That won't work.
• That can’t be done.
• No one else is doing that because it wouldn’t sell.
• No, we can’t source that ingredient naturally, no one can. (BS, I eventually did!).
• Sorry, just give us 8 ingredients max to mix.
• Sorry, we can’t get natural extracts you want. That is all you can source.
• People won’t buy that because you’re targeting different markets, just target one. Stick with this blah blah blah.
• Why are you asking me silly questions?
• Well that’s the specification sheet (my reply, how is that natural when it’s been extracted with solvents, preservatives or chemicals?!).
• That will cost too much money to do.
• Don’t waste your time.
• Don’t be silly nothing is natural.
• No one will buy that. They want this and that, it’s a price war.
• That’s ok, you can use that and not have to state it uses these dangerous fillers or substances because food regulations state it doesn’t need to be listed on the ingredients, so no one will ever really know.
I could literally go on forever in all honesty. I get frustrated, then so do they, so what usually ends up happening is this response from them, or we just never hear from them again because they know they are not up to real standards, standards that you would expect to be the norm but are far from it;
• We’ve just had to take on a big project sorry.
• I’ll get back to you if we can do that.
• Sorry, the Minimum order quantity has just gone up now (because they know I’m going to be a pain in the ass for them).
• So and so can help you so I’ll get them to contact you. Funnily enough, they’ve permanently disappeared now, never to get hold off LOL.
• Once I find out for sure I’ll let you know.
• I don’t really know how we can do that.
• You’re asking the impossible.
• I have no idea what that is.
• I can’t supply the documents you need (or won’t, because I’m fussy and will ask loads of questions you can’t answer?).
• Yes, it’s all naturally made with nothing else (then I find out it’s not, it’s created with fillers and crappy GMO corn starch!).
I’ve found better manufacturers, but in all honesty, from my experience, they are still all highly uneducated and need constant babysitting and chasing. I can’t believe that companies can’t acknowledge what we want to do like it’s impossible to create a natural product or something! I see so many so-called natural ingredients I want to use, then find out the extracts are all extracted in bad ways once I get a specification sheet. They hold off sending these because they blatantly know that I’m going to be the only one wasting my time tearing it apart!
They think I’m weird because I ask for specification sheets, they think I’m weird for asking normal questions, they think I’m weird for chasing the importation process, where they’re from, how they’re processed and who they supply from and then I contact their suppliers directly too to check they’re not hiding anything (and trust me they usually are in a lot of cases!), they think I’m weird for wanting to create something that’s natural and that it’s impossible so they talk to me as if I’m a baby and madman and avoid doing business with me by any means possible in the end if they can.
We must be giving them too much work to do or they’re clearly not interested in our brand values. Clearly, they have never been asked such general questions, it’s too much to do for them that, no one's doing it, or asking for it so they think I’m mad. What worries me the most is that no one is clearly asking these questions or chasing the entire manufacturing process for questions? NO ONE! What does this tell us about the health industry in general and the products and brands we’ve been supporting for so many years? If I’m the only one asking these questions (which I clearly am), then there lies a huge problem and we should all be deeply concerned with the health industry.
GET SMART is the best piece of advice I want to leave you all with. Do your research and do your homework for you and your family’s sake. I know many of the younger generations don’t seem to care or even acknowledge that all their pre workout and whey proteins are full of crap (even when they’re labeled as “NATURAL”) and that they’re vegetarians but have no idea their BCAAs are all made from . . . . well animals, but for the people who really care should start trying better. For years, it was a well-kept industry secret (like many of the other secrets in our foods and how they’re made) that BCAAs were derived from animal sources. Seriously WTF? I know people who say they’re vegans or vegetarians but still eat cheese, they have no idea and I hate to break the truth to them of what’s really in most of them because they really think they know about health and think they’re eating healthy.
Or the “Oh my pre-workout and protein powder’s NATURAL because it contains stevia and it says it’s all natural”, no it isn’t! It’s Stevia extract that has been heavily processed using chemicals. It’s hardly even stevia anymore really, they’ve just extracted the sweetest parts of the stevia plant and classed it as natural. This process makes it no more natural than the sucralose big “E” number let’s be honest.
I was once like them too when I was younger and wish I knew what I know now back then, maybe I wouldn’t be suffering now in health if I weren’t so stupid and learned more about the rubbish I was throwing into my body thinking it was doing me good. But let’s face it, how are we really supposed to know all this because I didn’t even know anything back then, not until I started exzo and found out for myself. I was doing the same jumping into the “natural” scam thinking my protein was pure and clean, but really was far from it and the total opposite!
I think it’s bloody disgraceful I really do and in all honesty numerous times now I’ve wanted to give up and throw in the towel. I feel like I’m wasting my life trying to create the impossible but I’ve come to the conclusion that it can and will be done and I will continue to do all that and I will have to continue educating these companies more and pushing for the best. This is why I spend so much time creating our products and why it takes ages for another release.
Moral of the story is that you can’t trust them or any product you buy these days, there’s always something hidden in the manufacturing process and clearly such general questions that I ask companies are a way of indicating that it seems that no one really gives a poop about their health products, they are just after your money!
Even organic licensing companies that are so-called “not for profit organisations” want our money. They want a yearly fee and a percentage of our profit that we should be giving to charity. How is that a nonprofit organisation? Also, EU regulations on the matter state that any company is entitled to sell organic products as long as it’s not specified as organic or the word organic on the labeling. Sorry but we can’t be part of that, I could never invest in a scam when I see one as I always trust my gut feeling. I suppose next it’ll be illegal to eat an apple off a wild tree soon, or they’ll be charging the apple trees a licensing fee! LOL. Many companies have always been working to some organic standards, and still are but are unable to register as organic because of the huge costs.
When I started exzo with so much joy and passion, my dreams were shattered when I went into the health business world for myself and see the ugly truth with my very own eyes. Numerous times I have been so frustrated trying to get simple questions from people that I have nearly had a complete breakdown (and that’s even when I’ve been taking my herbals and natural blends for stress and that’s saying something!). The reality for me has been incredibly disturbing, and I would have never imagined such a highly anticipated industry this unprofessional. I truly hope we will eventually find or eventually educate ourselves more as well as the manufacturers. Maybe this is another reason companies are going abroad for their ingredients and manufacturing, it would make sense in that context and something I will consider myself and find out for myself if there is, in fact, some better options.
Anyway, thanks for reading everyone. I hope this information and my personal experience has been helpful in opening up your eyes a bit on the industry as a whole. Just be careful and trust your gut feeling. Any products with added fillers and bulking ingredients just stay clear of or the “natural flavorings” bandwagon. That’s a whole different story altogether! I know it’s hard because most have these bad things in them. I promise that you can have faith in all our products to be of the best quality available and ethically sourced, because I really do put myself in the trenches and go out of my way creating the best, ensuring they’re the best and giving everyone a hard time and that’s why the manufacturers hate me and no one wants to work with us! Woohoo ha ☺
I’m not going to continue putting this crap into my body and neither are you. Once upon a time everything was organic so why has it changed, and why should anyone need a license for it!? Take care, stay healthy and stay tuned for some more Kenny Speaks where we’ll be uncovering more!