A couple years ago I wrote a post about 7 Fitness Brands To Watch after coming across an interesting list during a module on my MSc. I stumbled across that post just recently and it was interesting to see the difference the last two years have made.
Some of the brands that I didn’t know, I have since heard of. Some of the brands are still going strong and some have maybe hit a plateau in their earnings. So I figured the new year was a good time to check out who smashed it in 2019.
In a particular order, we have:
Sitting in the number one spot out of everything and everyone i.e not just fitness brands, is Chilly’s Bottles. Now I know the whole sustainability thing is pretty much a trend (I recently wrote about how you can be more sustainable with your fitness routine) and I knew these bottles were popular, but I didn’t know they were this popular!
Chilly’s got their name from how the bottles can keep drinks cold and chilly, or hot like a chilli pepper. They are pretty reasonably priced too – you can pick one up from Amazon.
Gymshark once sat at the top of this league table but today, they’re at number 10 overall and number 2 in our list. Although Gymshark are pretty popular, I never found a love for them myself. I had a few pieces which sold like hotcakes over on Depop though so someone loves them!
Apparently they launched a “try now, pay later” service in the UK and Scandinavia which might have helped keep their income soooo high. Annual sales growth over the last 3 years has risen 141.26%.
Bluefin Trading are a company I only recently learned of, maybe better known as Bluefin Fitness. I’ve been eyeing up their vibration plates as I have some vibration training content on the blog which is in need of updating.
With only 10 members of staff they’ve done a stellar job of making it into position 15 overall and number 3 on our health and fitness list.
Grenade must’ve been grinding the last couple of years ‘cos they have jumped up to position 39 overall from being at 67 when I last featured them a couple years ago.
They reckon that the Grenade Carb Killa protein bars are the UK’s second bestselling chocolate bar. One of my favourites is chocolate chip cookie dough. They featured in my top 5 list for snacking smart and they do taste more like a treat than anything healthy!
I saw the other day they had some sort of pop up in Shoreditch offering fitness classes and more to attendees. I missed any announcement so I’m not sure what it was about but clearly activations are in their marketing strategy for 2020.
Gravity Active Entertainment
We’re now down at number 60 with Gravity Active Entertainment and the first brand that I don’t actually know. According to the league table they’re a Trampoline park operator and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that trampoline parks are a damn good workout!
Apparently this West Yorkshire company came about from the founders wife being inspired by a trampoline park on The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills TV show.
Liforme might be down at number 84 but they made it onto the list! They’re a yoga mat manufacturer and retailer who launched back in the days of me working at lululemon. I always loved their mats but at over £100 I could never justify the cost when I got a decent staff discount at lulu.
Their mats are awesome though so if you wanna treat yourself, I highly recommend a Liforme mat. According to the league table, within four years of launching this company had sold yoga mats to 85 countries and to every US state.
Last but not least in our top fitness brands is Vivobarefoot. In position 100 to be exact. They’re a brand that I can recommend too – I’ve tried some of their shoes and I get the benefits. The league table tells me that the Vivobarefoot Founder has heritage in the footwear world, hailing from the Clark family.
I recently saw them advertising a new role in the company to look after Influencers and affiliate relationships which paid pretty well. It’ll be interesting to see if they hire for this role and if this will have an impact on their future revenues.
So WIT Fitness didn’t actually make it onto the top 100 but they made it on the Ones to Watch list which showcases a cross section of companies that fall short of the strict criteria for the main league table, but are set to grow rapidly in the future.
WIT are a sportswear brand retailer; Its flagship sportswear store and gym in the City is popular with Team GB athletes. It raised £2m in VC funding this year and will open in New York in 2020.
I’ve not made it to their store / studio yet but hopefully I will in 2020. I see them pop up a lot on Instagram so obviously I’ve got some FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) lol.
Oppo Ice cream
Oppo Ice Cream should probably get a special mention too as they also feature in the Ones to Watch list. They’re an Ice Cream manufacturer founded by two brothers. This healthy ice cream company appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2016. It generates 75% of its sales overseas and has raised funds of £6.7m. I see them pop up all over Instagram too but am yet to try the product.
This year’s Ones to Watch list was published in the Fast Track 100 supplement in The Sunday Times on the 1 December 2019; and the overall winner will be presented with an award at the Fast Track 100 awards dinner in May. Someone send me an invite?!
Last years winner of the Ones to Watch Award were Huel, the fast-growth powdered food nutrition brand. I tried their product when it first ever launched and recently tried their new ready-to-drink bottle. It’s interesting.
This post was compiled using the The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table. In June 2021, it was announced that the league tables would no longer be published and the business was closed.
I’m already a big fan of Chilly’s Bottles and Gymshark is being brought to my attention more and more. I must admit, I haven’t really heard of any of the others though – although, I do like the sound of the healthy ice cream Company! It’s great to keep an eye on the trends within the industry so thank you for sharing. It will be interesting to see how these brands perform throughout the year.
Clearly they’re all doing something right! …I must remember to look at this list for 2021 when the time comes. Be interesting to see what brands (and trends) emerge in the next 12 months.