We had the chance to catch up with Greg Haglaund, Managing Director and Co-owner of SWITCH NUTRITION, here is Greg's awesome story on his Journey this far!
"My name is Greg Haglund and I am a self-confessed supplement geek.
Straight out of high school in the mid to late 90’s I took on an apprenticeship as a Gym Instructor while working towards my PT certificate. I spent the better part of my PT carrier at World Gym Christchurch while I studied sports nutrition at polytech.
After graduating with a diploma in sports nutrition I started working in the supplement game at Gymeez in Christchurch which was the premium supplement store at that time.
This was a great place to learn the supplement trade as I worked closely with the owner of one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing sports supplement manufacturers.
For many years I only read scientific journals or books on nutrition, supplements, and ingredients. I was and am still obsessed with human physiology and now psychology.
After running out of challenges in NZ my partner and I moved to Aus in 2002 where I started managing a new GNC that had recently taken over a health food store. This was my first introduction to more traditional natural medicine, vitamins and herbs.
Soon after I got poached by Nutralife (New Zealand’s largest supplement company). They had just bought Peter McCarthy’s Balance and were in the process of developing a strong sports nutrition range. I was fortunate to have an incredible mentor (Geoff Sainsbury) and team where I worked closely on the development of new products and protocols.
After 4 years I was asked to join Musashi (who at the time were the biggest brand in Australia) to help develop supplement programming for their athletes (NRL, AFL, Rugby, Soccer etc). Unfortunately, within a few months of signing on Musashi was purchased by Unilever (Nestle) and they had vastly different ideas for the brand and the team.
We moved from Sydney to the Sunny Coast in 2007 and I started back with Nutralife. In late 2009 I was asked to head up the QLD team of a very new import and distribution company bringing in some of the most cutting-edge US sports supplements.
This role developed over the years into a National Manager and National Education Manager & Product Development Manager. It gave me the opportunity to hone my skill as a formulator and really get into the weeds with the synergy of supplement ingredients.
Over these years I was confronted by many challenges. I saw a lot of companies sacrifice benefit for profit and I became increasingly aware of the harm artificial colours and sweeteners could cause.
I decided it was time to create something new and was offered the opportunity to develop a coffee supplement with a friend. There was a gentlemen’s agreement that I would receive shares in the company for my work in developing the product. However, this agreement was not honoured, and I was forced out of the company.
This was a tough time in my career as I had just finished going through a 12-month legal battle after exiting my previous employment. However, I was not about to walk away from my passion.
With funding supplied by another friend and current business partner (Nev), we got a contract in place and started to work on what would become Switch Nutrition.
In the beginning, we were going to call it Alpha 1 Nutrition. That name seems so pedestrian to me now. Lol
I was one of the first in Australia to identify Ketones as a future field of research and development. So, we started working on an exogenous ketone supplement which meant developing a name for the product. After a brainstorming session with my partner (Nicole), she came up with the name Keto Switch and then suggested calling the whole brand SWITCH NUTRITION.
It was agreed this was such a better name and with a quick google search, we found no other brands with this name. So, Switch Nutrition was born.
We started out of Nev and Cj’s (Nev’s wife and our Switch Nutrition marketing guru) garage. Where I would pack orders, deliver what I could and ship what I couldn’t one day and then get on the road and sell the next day. After 3 months it became very apparent, we couldn’t scale this model.
We made the decision to send all our product to Melbourne to a third-party logistics company. We chose Melbourne as the product was mostly made there and there was less heat and humidity to spoil product in the warehouse.
Six months in and we were growing rapidly. Things were looking good. We had 5 products in 3 flavours to market and then suddenly we were blindsided by a small business in Melbourne who called themselves Switch Superfoods.
After only 6 months of being in the market, we had our trademarks challenged and spent over a year defending them in a fierce legal battle. After 12 months of many sleepless nights and extra work on top of the day to day brand and product development and sales we won the legal battle and the right to remain Switch Nutrition.
Switch Nutrition was developed to suit our personal needs and based around the accumulated and growing knowledge of our team. We had a desire to create healthier products that were 100% natural with a difference.
That difference was the attention to detail, education, formulation, and amazing natural flavours that would get results first and foremost.
Our motto is “NATURALLY OPTIMISE YOUR HEALTH & PERFORMANCE”.
We spent months and, in some cases, years looking for robust clinical trials on ingredients and their benefits. Once we found these ingredients, we source them, blend them, flavour them, and test them.
It sounds easy enough but at Switch Nutrition we say it is our differences that make the difference. This is because we search the globe for these high-quality ingredients and focus on the benefits of accurately dosing co-factors that maximize results.
I realized early on that ingredients synergize or compete, so we work with these synergies within a product and from product to product.
We have an open label policy. This means all active ingredient levels are clearly illustrated on the labels (we don’t hide anything) so customers can make educated choices.
Beyond creating the best performing, best tasting, cutting edge, open label sports nutrition products. We needed to educate customers on the unique ingredients. Therefore, we continue to create content that nourishes the mind while our products nourish the body.
Every product in the Switch Nutrition range provides a health and performance benefit. Offering the best results possible is in our DNA and formulated into our products.
As I write this, we now have 9 products in multiple flavours and sizes. My favourite of all the Switch Nutrition products is the only one I didn’t formulate myself. In fact, Nicole formulated it by combining most of the different health supplements she was taking to help naturally treat her hashimoto’s thyroiditis… Vitality Switch!
This superfood product is unbeatable in the market today for formula and flavour. It is a product I will never go a day without having and it’s one I think almost everyone should start with. It provides so much nourishment our food system no longer provides.
Outside of the day to day business and product development, I love to exercise, play ping pong (table tennis) and ride our tandem bike with Nicole. Our chosen form of exercise since covid is at home workouts with multi joint movements HIIT style.
I have never done CrossFit although I have been to many of the comps and I am certainly in awe of the share athleticism of the competitors.
It’s at one of these competitions where we met our amazing distribution partner Fit Trendz. Hayden, Michelle and their team have helped us achieve incredible growth in the short time we have worked with them.
I am a big animal lover. I do have a cat but if we had the room would easily consider a dog, tiger, monkey or anything we could rescue. I think anyone who doesn’t love animals and appreciate the joy they bring is possibly a sociopath. Lol
I am not big on cooking and I am very lucky that Nicole is amazing in the kitchen, although I do a fair share of veggie chopping and cleaning up. The last thing I cooked was probably gluten-free toast… does that count?😊
If I could change one thing about myself it would be to find a better work life balance and be able to delegate more. I really love getting my hands dirty and doing the heavy lifting day to day in the business. However, we are getting to a point where I need to work on the business more than in it.
We have many hurdles to overcome and every day is a challenge. However, we are building an amazing team that are up for the fight.
In the 3.5 years Switch Nutrition has been trading we have won multiple awards, developed life changing products, and become one of Australia’s fastest growing sports nutrition brands.
There are legislation changes on the horizon that will require very astute problem-solving focus and fortunately, we are just about to release a nootropic (brain boosting) mushroom coffee to help smarten up our game.
Look out for more amazing Switch Nutrition products and informative content coming your way soon!😊"
We are super proud to partner with this amazing company and brand along with Greg and his incredible team. Greg will also be doing a Q and A over in our Better You Group on the 5th of November, so if you have any questions head over and pop them in the comments section for Greg to answer.