Consumer Awareness Strengthens Sports Nutrition Market

by Christine Hronec

According to a recent market research report titled “Sports Nutrition in the US,” the growth in consumer awareness and education has made sports nutrition accessible to the mainstream consumer. These products are no longer only being purchased by elite athletes and bodybuilders, as revealed by sales of product offerings designed to meet the needs of the common athletes.

The core audience for sports nutrition products will continue to be comprised of bodybuilders and extreme athletes, however the Nutrition Business Journal reported that this core demographic is believe to only account for 5% of total industry sales. Everyday health and active lifestyle needs are the focus of sports nutrition products driving revenue growth from mainstream consumers.

The growth in consumer education will continue to support the growth in mainstream sports nutrition users. As such, during the forecast period, the protein products segment is expected to grow by 62 percent to reach USD $7.8 billion in 2018. The increase in mainstream consumers presents a major growth opportunity for companies to expand their offerings that are vegetarian, vegan-friendly, gluten free, and lactose free which are more accessible to non-extreme athletes.

Glanbia, (the largest American-style cheese manufacturer in the United States and one of the largest whey ingredient producers), continues to be the global brand leader in sports nutrition in 2013, with 18 percent current value share. The company’s current value sales grew by 24 percent to reach USD $969 million. Its position was bolstered by its acquisition in 2008 of Optimum Nutrition and the acquisition in 2011 of Bio-Engineered Supplements & Nutrition Inc. I n February 2014, the company was granted a U.S. patent titled “Acidified whey protein compositions and methods for making them.” The patented process creates a high-quality protein ingredient, which assures taste and flavor while allowing the delivery of the required amount of whey protein. This patent helps the company to broaden its opportunities for everyday protein supplementation of consumers while giving it a competitive production advantage. The growth of this major company only reiterates the expansion of sports nutrition into the mainstream marketplace.

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