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Breakthroughs that will shape the future of the sport food sector

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Global Sport Nutritional Industry Analysis


The global sports food and beverage market is forecast to record yearly growth in excess of 5% between 2008 and 2013, according to research from Business Insights. The market is expected to generate more than $3 billion in revenue by 2013. Sports nutrition products, as specific functional foodstuffs, are consumed by both professional athletes and mainstream consumers from all walks of life seeking to boost their energy levels and promote general health.


The sports nutrition industry is witnessing increased demand due to consumer awareness as to the health benefits of regular exercise. Sports energy drinks, in particular, have penetrated a wide range of consumer profiles from very active to occasionally active, reports Datamonitor. Consumers are increasingly informed as to the impact of nutrition on health, with sports people integrating sports nutrition products in their daily eating habits to reach their physical performance goals, and less-active consumers eager to benefit from optimum nutrition for increased energy in the workplace and for day-to-day activities.



Key Segments


  • The market for proteins has faced some changes over recent years. Due to the economic recession, consumers adapted their eating habits, tending to eat at home more often. Popular protein sources such as poultry, seafood and meat remained popular but with consumers availing of sale prices and buying less expensive cuts of meat, reports Packaged Facts. Grocery stores are being forced to compete with other retail outlets to offer prepared food products, including drugstores, warehouse clubs and supercenters. Private-label center-plate proteins are recording rising sales as supermarkets seek to foster customer loyalty with store brands.


  • The global fat replacers market has been recording slightly weaker growth over recent years, reports Global Industry Analysts. As economic recovery continues following the global crisis, growth is expected to pick up again, fuelled by increasing demand for low-fat and fat free-products. Amidst rising concern and awareness surround pertinent health issues, consumers are opting for low-fat, low-calorie and functional foods, which is in turn fuelling fat demand for replacers, with functional fat replacers in particularly high demand. The fat replacers market is forecast to record strong growth in the dairy and meat sector due to the rising popularity of reduced-fat and low calorie foods, including meat products, spreads and low-fat ice creams. Demand for fat-based fat replacers will be comparatively low due to awareness regarding health concerns liked with the number one selling fat-based fat replacer, olestra. Fat-free foods demand will record steady growth in developed countries, with developing countries following suit.



Regional Market Share


  • Nutritional product demand, especially for sports nutrition products, is rising in emerging markets such as Latin America, south-east Asia, and China due to rising disposable income and growing populations, reports Business Insights.


  • Around 60% of overall EU spending on sports nutrition is recorded in the UK, Italy and Germany. The latter represents the leading region, with almost $720 million spent on sports nutrition products in 2008, and it is expected to reach $783 expenditure by 2013.


  • The US sports nutrition market reached $3.5 billion in 2008, having recorded in excess of 4.5% yearly growth for the preceding five years. Market growth is expected to slow to below 4% for the five-year period ending 2013.


  • In Sweden, the case of Gainomax points to the potential for a brand to expand its consumer base for a sports recovery drink, appealing not only to serious athletes but also consumers partaking in occasional exercise and mainstream consumers. Gainomax shows a company does not need to be big to build a loyal consumer base through effective brand identity creation and strong marketing communications initiatives. Gainomax has built an image as an expert brand, keeping athletes loyal through sampling at sports events. It was able to branch out to offer a range of energy bars in response to demand from its consumer base.



Market Outlook


The global sports nutrition market has been benefiting from changing consumer habits, with many consumers who do not strictly belong to the “athletic” community opting for sports nutrition products in an effort to maintain good health. Demand is also growing in tandem with disposable income as the economy recovers from the global recession. According to Dion Research, companies are adopting multi-channel sales strategies in an effort to boost brand awareness.



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Parent industry:  Functional Food

Related industries: Vitamin and Supplement, Nutraceutical, Diet Food

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