Beneo at HiE: ‘Sportification’ of traditional foods has firmly entered the mainstream’

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Professional triathlete, Marc Rink, will be joining BENEO on stand #8A51 at HiE this year. ©Ulrich Scherbaum
Professional triathlete, Marc Rink, will be joining BENEO on stand #8A51 at HiE this year. ©Ulrich Scherbaum
Product ‘sportification’ is moving beyond traditional gels, bars and drinks towards mainstream foods such as ready meals and snacks that come with sports related claims.

According to Beneo’s marketing director Thomas Schmidt, the concepts of sports nutrition are being applied to traditional foods as part of a ‘sporty makeover,’ blurring boundaries in the process.

Consumers who are regularly active want products that help them to manage a busy day, look and feel good, or maintain a healthier weight,”​ said Schmidt.

“This means that blood sugar management, sustained energy and the fat burning impact of foods are of great importance to them, however at present a lot of sports and fitness-related products on the market do not suit these needs.”

The rising interest in sustained energy, blood sugar management and fat burning are issues that Beneo will be addressing at this year’s HiE, held in Frankfurt on 27-29 November.

It is a chance for attendees to not only find out about the Beneo’s range of ingredients sourced from rice, sugar beet and chicory root but also speak to the company’s nutritional, technical and marketing team at the firm's booth, #8A51.

One of those team members is Klaudia Volmer, product manager functional carbohydrates at Beneo, who goes on to discuss product sportification’s roots in sports nutrition and how this sector is now firmly established in its own right.

Two main drivers for sportified foods

“There are two main drivers in the market for sportified foods.  Firstly, sports nutrition becoming more mainstream through a variety of different food applications, allowing brands to target lifestyle users of sportified products.

“Secondly, regular foods, such as snack brands, becoming sportive, enabling them to reach an additional target group of occasionally active consumers,”​ she added.

“This double-pronged approach to engaging consumers in sports nutrition means that it increasingly holds appeal to all consumers, regardless of how active they may be.”

Innova Market Insights state that in the last two years, there has been a 29% increase in the number of product launches carrying some kind of sports claim as more consumers look for sportified products to support weight loss goals and/or provide a boost in energy. 

This growth is predicted to continue with the sports market forecast to reach more than €15bn in 2021, providing ample opportunity for food and drink manufacturers around the world. 

“Our focus on sportified products for mainstream consumers has helped to shine a light on the growth potential available to manufacturers who are prepared to be innovative,” ​added Volmer.

“We believe sportified products should be for everybody, not just for athletes.”

Professionals and Palatinose

Beneo’s Palatinose (isomaltulose) has been put forward as a source of sustained energy release, preventing blood glucose levels from spiking and helping to burn fat more effectively.

Mainstream consumers now beginning to seek these qualities to supplement busy lifestyles alongside professional athletes, where the benefits have long been established.

This includes professional endurance athlete, Stefan Schlegel, who has competed in the Race Across America (RAAM) several times, utilising BENEO’s Palatinose as his main carbohydrate energy source before, during and after the race.

“We’re excited to have Marc Rink joining us on our booth throughout the show as a special guest where he will be cycling on all three show days, demonstrating the endurance potential of Palatinose,” ​said Volmer.

“People can also compete against or ride along with him in a (virtual) race.”

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