In a small town in Poland lies one of Europe’s leading pharmaceutical companies specializing in fitness, health and dietary needs. In its first years, Olimp Laboratories Sp. z o.o., then operating under the name Sportatut, produced dietetic food and protein products recommended for athletes. The company saw success with these products, whose formulations were eventually patented.
In 1996, Sportatut started manufacturing and marketing food supplements for weight management, quickly garnering a reputation as a pioneer in Eastern Europe for this kind of product. After expanding its product line even further, the company changed its name to Olimp Laboratories to more closely reflect the nature of its work.
“We modernized a lot and invested heavily in R&D. Olimp Labs introduced quality management systems, and it was one of the first companies to implement new ISO standards to the production of food supplements,” explains Olimp Laboratories’ Director of Research and Development Piotr Kula.
Mr. Kula has been with Olimp Labs since 2005 and has seen the pharmaceutical company make significant strides since he started working there. “After Poland joined the EU, the company was able to use European funds to grow and modernize the business even more. One big innovation was the first application of Mega Capsules® in dietary supplements, which led to a higher concentration of active ingredients and a lower amount of technological additives compared to tablets, which additionally makes it easier to swallow,” Mr. Kula adds.
In 2008, Olimp Labs achieved another milestone with the launch of its chain of Perfect Body Center shops. This expansion proved to be a highly effective move for the company, making its products easily accessible to the public. The company’s most recent significant step forward was the completion of its state-of-the-art Intelligent Logistics Center and Research and Development Center. Opened in 2015 with its own subsidiary Nutrifarm Sp. z o.o., the 26,000 m² state-of-the-art facility houses research, production and educational facilities.
“We became the first company in the world to market and release products in innovative Mega Caps® technology. It is the triple zero size capsule, the biggest in the world for supplement use.” Stanislaw JedlinskiPresident
In 2013, Olimp Labs was certified to produce medical products and, with the completion of these new facilities, has been able to offer its customers an even greater assortment. “Olimp has more than 300 products in all forms and sizes, including tablets, capsules, powder concentrate, pellets, and liquid ampoules, just to name a few,” highlights Mr. Kula.
Behind each one of these products is an extensive process of scientific development and testing. “We are with the product all the way, from development in laboratory scale to manufacturing and testing in the top class sport and physiology laboratory. We are always striving for the highest quality possible. We want to be confident that we are giving the consumer products that adhere to the very best standards. Olimp Labs is known for releasing products that are based on scientific research. Being one of the pioneers, we have implemented a unique scientifically validated dynamic model of the complete gastrointestinal tract (see photo on the right) in a new product development that allows the analysis of the absorption process and product safety evaluation. There are only nine models of this kind worldwide. Our products are safe and effective, and our customers know this,” Mr. Kula emphasizes.
Products include dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, medical foods, multivitamins, weight management systems, and more. To appeal to different target groups, the company also developed several different brands, such as Olimp Labs, for everyone who wants to look after their health, Olimp Sport Nutrition, for athletes and active people, Queen Fit, which is a line specially for women, Vebiot-supplements for pets and the ‘Born in the Gym’ clothing line.
In order to develop great products, Olimp Labs has spent years nurturing a culture of excellence in research, so naturally its ideas are one of its most valuable assets. “We put a lot of attention into intellectual property and knowledge. We have over 30 patents and almost 600 trademarks that protect our inventions. We launch more than 50 products each year, and we need to protect ourselves,” underlines Mr. Kula.
For example, Olimp Labs was the first company in Poland to introduce the category of dietary supplements for athletes. A pioneer in this area, Olimp Labs always has something innovative and unique in the pipeline.
Not only popular in Poland, Olimp Labs maintains a large international presence. “We export our products to more than 90 countries. Exports generate 40% of our total turnover, and we continue to grow by 10% to 12% each year. We want to continue our dynamic international expansion, especially in North America and Asia,” points out Mr. Kula.
This international growth is in no small part due to the firm’s excellent marketing, such as online and at major industry trade fairs. Olimp Labs also cooperates with top universities in Poland and abroad as well in its area to help develop local talent. As head of Olimp Lab’s R&D department, Mr. Kula is intent on moving the company forward and already has a lot of ideas about how to accomplish that.
“We are looking at new areas, especially in terms of pharmaceuticals and functional food. One thing that is really important to us is to do our share to prevent common social diseases like cadiovascular, neurodegenerative disease. We would also like to keep working with universities, research units and sport associations,” shares the director.