2020 was a stellar year for gaming, and it is expected to only get bigger. 2020 saw a surge in gaming. According to Verizon, peak hour video gaming surged by 75% during the week March 10-17, 2020. A subsequent report in May showed that gaming was up 82% over pre-COVID levels.
But gaming is one thing, esports is about watching others playing the games. According to Business Insider, esports viewership is predicted to grow at 9% between 2019 and 2023, to reach 646 million by 2023.
And as players – professional and amateur – look for products to help with performance, supplement brands began targeting the category, led by energy products. One of the most high-profile launches into the category in 2020 was Ghost Gamer by Ghost Lifestyle.
Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA, Daniel Lourenco, Ghost’s CEO, said he expects greater segmentation in the category in the coming years.
“G-Fuel created a category for sports nutrition to enter the space, and you’re going to see more of that energy/ drink replacement kind of focus thing. That’s the most obvious place to go,” said Lourenco. “But as the customers warm up to taking sports nutrition products, I think you’re going to see more protein, more greens, people building a healthy lifestyle, and not just what you’re doing in front of the console.”
“I think you’re also going to see a lot of people try and get in [to the esports category], and I don’t think it’s going to work out for them, because they don’t have the right intentions or the most authentic approach.”
Lourenco said that Ghost Gamer has performed very strongly since its launch. “To have worked on Ghost Gamer for a year, year and a half, lining up ingredients and going through different beta tests, even getting it out to some gamers and esports teams that we know, to have all that finally be ready in the middle of lockdown and quarantine, where a lot of us were playing more video games than since grade school, the timing was beyond opportune,” he said.
“The product has done amazing for us. It was definitely one of the bright spots of 2020. And even bigger than the product is the community that we’ve built around the product has been easily the best part.
“We were recently invited to become a partner on Twitch, which very few sports nutrition brands can say that,” added Lourenco.
Lourenco also outlined his approach: “To formulate for the 1% that understand it and to build the brand, the marketing, the message, the flavors for the 99%,” said Lourenco. “From the formula standpoint, we’ve got great partnerships with Nutrition 21 on nooLVL, and Cognizin from Kyowa. These are great anchor ingredients for the rest of a well-balanced formula, but we know only 1% of customers that really appreciates or shops for that.”
“We’re really confident in the product we have and continue to lead the way in balancing the efficacy and innovation in a lot of different forms that are unique to us.”
Watch the video for more insights from Dan Lourenco, CEO of Ghost Lifestyle.
Sports and Active Nutrition Summit
NutraIngredients-USA's Sports and Active Nutrition Summit is going on right now. This week's segment focuses on Recovery, while the event scheduled February 25 has a focus on White Spaces, including female athletes and eSports.