As consumers become more health conscious day by day, sports nutrition has risen in prominence as a means to fill their needs. Brand portfolios have diversified and attracted new users.
Sports nutrition continues to be one of the highest growth categories in the food and nutrition space as the mass market appeal of healthy and functional foods, drinks and supplements takes the once specialist category to the mainstream.
Yet as the space develops, and competition intensifies, it is vital to keep track of scientific breakthroughs, to monitor what innovations excite consumers and to optimise formulations in order to ensure business success, notes Lumina Intelligence head of market insights Ewa Hudson.
Sports nutrition: A high-growth category
Lumina Intelligence is an insights service recently launched by William Reed, publisher of food and drink news sites including Nutraingredients and FoodNavigator.
“We have been providing news and analysis on sports nutrition for 18 years, both through NutraIngredients and through numerous online and face-to-face events we have organised around the globe,” commented Graham Twyford, executive director – EMEA / APAC at William Reed.
“The launch of sports nutrition as a dedicated category within Lumina Intelligence, a service which provides such unique insight from both a market and consumer perspective, takes our authority on the category to a new level. It also fits perfectly with our ongoing objective to inform business growth – and sports nutrition certainly falls into the ‘growth’ bracket.”
The service tracks online consumer reviews and the product detail associated with them, across 20 countries, to deliver unique perspectives on high-growth food and nutrition markets. In doing so, Lumina looks to equip the industry with tools to measure the evolution of science, online consumer engagement and regulation and its impact on product formulation, labelling, sustainable sourcing and new product development.
“Sports Nutrition is a market that has seen and continues to see huge growth, an in particular in the online space. Our data is taken from leading online retailers and manufacturers’ e-commerce platforms and provides detailed ingredient breakdowns,” said Maureen Milne, programme director for Lumina Intelligence.
Hudson noted that Lumina Intelligence tracks online engagements of sports nutrition consumers and a huge variety of product features that differentiate brand variants, “to help bring consumers products they want, and help the industry to fine-tune their offering based on over two millions of post-purchase reviews.”
Examples of product data tracked by Lumina includes; health benefits, BCAA ratios, formats, population target per brand, and the best-selling brands in the online space, she added.
Reviews: The new currency
Online reviews are fast becoming the new currency in modern retail, says Lumina.
“Whilst word-of-mouth used to be the most trusted means of getting recommendations, as the consumer is buying more and more online, word-of-mouth is also moving online in the form of reviews,” explained Tom Morgan, market analyst for Lumina Intelligence recently.
With the rise of online retailing across the board, and with added bonus of direct customer feedback on products in this channel, Milne says the ‘online currency’ of reviews is a vital area that Lumina feels it can offer a unique insights – by driving insight into the key product attributes that are driving customer engagement, and so help inform product development and formulation.
“Reviews are a vital marketing resource for brands, and it is our aim to provide our customers with tools and content to maximise the business opportunities this provides,” she added.