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Regional sports nutrition trends

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Regional sports nutrition trends

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Today’s sports nutrition consumer now may be anyone from a professional athlete to a casual gym-goer buying a pre-workout nutrition bar or an isotonic beverage after a brief weekly workout. This has driven a complete transformation of the predominant use case for sports nutrition. Casual and lifestyle users are less likely to focus on performance nutrition than on active nutrition, or even simply on healthy living. Research also shows that these “active lifestylers” are influenced more by sensory appeal (e.g. taste) and align with more mainstream needs (e.g. convenience) than the specialists, such as athletes training for an event, who require a more extensive nutritional program.[1]​  Active lifestylers are unlikely to order large vats of protein powder, but are very likely to pick up a sports bar at the store.

Though many trends in sports nutrition markets apply across the world, significant differences exist between regions, especially in Asia-Pacific and Europe.


The European sports nutrition market is projected to grow from $3.1bn in 2019 to $4.7bn in 2023, a CAGR of 10.6%. The UK is its largest market, with a predicted CAGR of 19% through 2023.[2]​ And the market is widening, moving from a traditional male-dominated industry to a more mainstream audience. For example, there has been a shift from “hyper masculine” marketing to a greater focus on women. Other signs of a broadening base can be seen in the evolving positioning of sports nutrition products like protein bars. More recently, after they’ve been rebranded as a healthy snack[3]​, their once niche market has expanded to everyday users.

Keeping athletes primed for performance

Athletes at all levels can face harsh environmental factors (increased exposure to crowds or travel exhaustion) as well as physical and psychological stress. These factors can negatively impact the immune system and overall physical health. This can lead to missed training days or critical workouts and impact performance and wellness goals. So while workout and training goals are different for many, the I importance of staying healthy and ready to train is essential to all.

Demand for immune health products has reach the widening sports nutrition market, but consumers what to know the products they consume do what they claim. With research and transparency a key purchase driver, the sports nutrition market needs more products with clinically proven immune health support.

Science-backed immune support  

Creating a product with clinically-proven immune health ingredients is one way to reach the sports nutrition market whitespace. For example, Wellmune, a  natural immune health ingredient, helps athletes stay healthy during and after intense exercise, allowing for harder and longer training. Wellmune is a proprietary baker’s yeast beta 1,3/1,6 glucan supported by more than a dozen published, peer-reviewed clinical studies, many of which took place in a sports nutrition context. This research has found Wellmune helps keep athletes stay physically healthy and promotes mental clarity by helping to increase vigor, while reducing fatigue, tension, confusion and upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms in marathon runners.

Download our white paper​ to learn more about personalizing sports nutrition for the expanding consumer base.

[1]​ GlobalData Ingredient Insights: Energy

[2]​ Euromonitor, Sports Nutrition in the United Kingdom, February 2019

[3]​ Euromonitor, Sports Nutrition in the United Kingdom, February 2019

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