How to break through the sports nutrition market in 2017?

Sports nutrition market accross the world accounted for approximately 28.4 billion dollars in 2016 and is expecting to reach nearly 45.2 billion dollars by 20221. The market has expanded into mainstream consumers, with motivations relative to a healthier lifestyle and plant-based diets trends.


Top 3 markets in sports nutrition

1. The United States remain the largest market in the world, with a 12% growth between 2015 and 2016, reaching 7.4 billion dollars sales2. The driving consumer group is the younger generation, between 18 and 34 years old. In the overall US population, 10% of men and 6% of women consume sport supplement daily3.

2. The European Union is the second market with a growth of 10% between 2015 and 2016, and 1.9 billion dollars sales4.

  • The English market accounts for 42% of the EU market with 788 million dollars sales and a current value growth of 23%5.
  • Germany is following with 260 million dollars sales (+8%)6.
  • Italy (167 million dollars, +6%)7.
  • France (129 million dollars, +4%)8.

3. In the third world position there is Australia, with 657 million dollars sales, recording a 8% growth between 2016 and 20159.


Emergence of new consumers in sports nutrition

Women represent a fast growing part of sports nutrition consumers. The rise of the mantra « strong is the new skinny » is driving the trend and reshaping the ideal female body image from thinness towards strenght10. Women are looking for sports nutrition supplements that will provide them a lean body, strenght, and performance.

Active seniors are now considered as an important consumer group for sports nutrition products, eventhough less than 1% of new products launches are designed for these consumers so far10. This category would be appealed by products focused on muscle strenght and immunity.

As the sports nutrition category continues to grow in popularity, more and more consumers are joining the trend, seeking a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, sports nutrition now targets casual users. This trend leads to the development of innovative and more convenient formats like bars and ready-to-drink products, as well as the penetration of mainstream distribution channels.


Raising the bar in sports nutrition expectations

Sports nutrition consumers are looking for promises linked to muscle mass gain (33%), endurance and energy (26%) and recovery (20%)8.

Capsules are the prefered format for sports nutrition products, used by 36% of consumers, followed by the powder for 28% of consumers8.

Sports nutrition consumers are increasingly demanding for plant-based products with scientific proofs, matching with vegetarian or vegan diets. 8% of the sports nutrition products launched between 2013 and 2016 carried a vegetarian claim, and 5% had a vegan claim10. The trend is not expected to run out of steam as many plant-based ingredients have already demonstrated their potential to support sports performance10.

However, whey protein powder is still the most popular sports nutrition product, making up 65% of total sports products in Western Europe11.

Furthermore, flavor is a major lever of innovation for the actual sports nutrition market, in order to appeal its new consumers10&11. They perceive fruity flavors as more healthy than the usual chocolate flavor. More interesting flavors like tropical fruits and coffee are also emerging on the market. Nordic ingredients like berries or seaweeds are also among the new ingredients on the market, especially in products targetting senior consumers. Accross any sports nutrition subgroups (bodybuilders, athletes, weight watchers, casual users…), sports nutrition products should be tasty and fun to consume.

Overall, sports nutrition consumers expect efficient bioactive constituents that are backed by scientific proofs, and are keen on innovative delivery methods.


Bio-Arct, a natural and effective solution for sports nutrition

The current sports nutrition market is fueling with botanical ingredients.

To meet the needs of today’s sports nutrition market, Iontec provides a unique ingredient that benefits from exclusive harvesting conditions. Made from the Chondrus crispus polar red algae, Bio-Arct gets its strenght from the natural ability of the algea to resist extreme winter conditions.

Chondrus crispus is harvested within a time frame that guarantees a maximum accumulation of valuable metabolites, such as L-citrullyl-L-arginine, L-gigartinine, Taurine, Glutamate and L-citulline. L-citrullyl-L-arginine is a natural dipeptide essential for energy release.

Bio-Arct is therefore an energy-concentrated patented ingredient for sports nutrition that support sports performance.



Bibliographical references

1. Zion Research analysis, 2017.

2. Sports nutrition in the US, Euromonitor International, September 2016.

3. The Datamonitor Consumer survey , 2014.

4. Euromonitor International, September 2015.

5. Sports nutrition in the UK, Euromonitor International, September 2016.

6. Sports nutrition in Germany, Euromonitor International, September 2016.

7. Sports nutrition in Italy, Euromonitor International, September 2016.

8. Sports nutrition in France, Euromonitor International, September 2016.

9. Sports nutrition in Australia, Euromonitor International, September 2016.

10. Mintel intelligence agency.

11. Euromonitor International, September 2016.