Sports Nutrition Expands Beyond Athletes
The global sports nutrition market is forecast to reach $24.4 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 9.7 percent between 2017 and 2025, according to Grand View Research.1 The category is undergoing a significant expansion of its consumer base beyond the original core users. These new users include busy, health-conscious consumers, often referred to as active lifestyle consumers.
Active lifestyle consumers appreciate the portable formats (such as bars and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages) along with the health benefits that sports nutrition products provide. They’re particularly interested in better-for-you snacking options and are increasingly turning to functional foods, an area where sports nutrition products excel. Manufacturers must consider the specific benefits sought by active lifestyle consumers since their goals often differ from those of core users.
Here’s a look at what today’s consumers are looking for in sports nutrition products:
1. High Protein
For 55 percent of U.S. households, high protein is an important attribute to consider when making food purchases, according to Nielsen.2 This growing interest in protein is impacting the sports nutrition category as more mainstream consumers are drawn to its high protein offerings. Plant-based proteins (especially plant-based protein blends) are trending among these consumers. These may include soy, pea, and rice proteins, as well as seed-based proteins, such as chia and flax proteins.