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A Spotlight On Sports Nutrition From FMCG Gurus

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A Spotlight On Sports Nutrition From FMCG Gurus

For many years, the Sports Nutrition market has focused on the development of nutritional products specifically designed for fitness enthusiasts and athletes. These products have been designed to enhance and optimise performance, recovery, and overall health and wellness.

However, the sports nutrition market has seen significant expansion in recent years, which is a result of an increased consumer awareness and attentiveness towards personal health. This has seen sports nutrition products, such as protein powders, sports drinks, energy bars, and dietary supplements move beyond being a niche, towards a market of mass appeal.

Proactive Consumers

Many everyday consumers seek food and drink products that will offer convenient nutrition to aid their long-term health. FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights reveal that 60% of global consumers have become more conscious about their health in the last two years.

As a result, products with multiple health claims increasingly appeal to consumers as they enhance the value of the product and offer maximum efficacy.

Over the last few years, consumers have re-evaluated their health and wellness. This has led to a large proportion of consumers having adopted more proactive approaches to addressing their health in the long-term.

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For instance, FMCG Gurus research shows that of the consumers who are more conscious about their health, some 23% state that this is because they were not suffering from any symptoms, but just wanted to take a more proactive approach to their health.

With this rise of proactive approaches and the aiding of overall, holistic health, these consumers value better-for-you products that are health-boosting and multifunctional.

The Importance of Protein

Protein is a vital nutrient which plays a key role in muscle growth, repair and overall health. In the sports nutrition market, protein is incorporated into various food and drink categories to cater to increasing consumer demand for protein-rich products.

Of the consumers who have changed their diet in the last two years, 58% of global consumers increased their intake of protein, FMCG Gurus data shows.

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A large proportion of consumers in the mainstream market have shown interest in protein consumption in order to aid an active lifestyle, weight management, and overall wellness. Importantly, with consumers’ diverse needs and preferences, protein products are available in various food and drink formats and categories.

FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights reveal that 48% of global consumers have purchased high protein cookies, while 52% of consumers have purchased milk protein drinks in the last six months.

This demonstrates that while the sports nutrition industry has reached more of a mainstream audience of health-conscious, proactive consumers, brands should seek to focus on product innovation and the formulation of protein-enriched foods, including yogurts, cereals, snacks, and protein-infused beverages.

Read More: Analysing 2023's Global Coffee Trends With FMCG Gurus

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Highlight Sustainability Credentials of Protein Sources

Environmental sustainability remains a key concern for consumers, with many concerned about the impact of environmental damage on their health.

The sports nutrition market must therefore not underestimate the appeal of plant-based protein sources. FMCG Gurus’ market research highlight that of those who have changed their diet in the last two years, 46% of global consumers increased their intake of plant protein. This is the case for both those who follow strict plant-based diets and those who do not follow this type of diet.

While these proteins are rich in essential amino acids and can provide similar benefits to animal-based proteins in terms of muscle recovery, repair, and growth, the sports nutrition market should focus on innovating plant-based protein products through taste, texture, and functionality.

Back-to-Basics Approach

Many consumers have embraced the concept of positive nutrition and are looking to increase their intake of functional and natural ingredients to gain a health-boost beyond basic nutrition. To achieve this, brands should adopt a back-to-basics approach to nutrition, through natural ingredients and streamlined ingredient lists.

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For instance, 62% of global consumers deem a snack healthier if it contains natural ingredients. Sports nutrition products should not only be deemed better-for-you but also free-from dietary evils that will have an adverse effect on the health and wellness of the consumer.

This holistic approach caters to the broader lifestyle concerns of consumers who prioritise both exercise and general well-being.

Read More: Free-From, Functional Claims Gaining In Importance, Says FMCG Gurus

Use Scientific Evidence to Validate Health Claims

Transparency and sustainability are vital aspects of the natural approach in the sports nutrition market. This is because many consumers are concerned and skeptical about exaggerated and misleading health claims due to health-washing scandals. As a result, consumers are looking for evidence to offer reassurance that the product will do as it says on the label.

FMCG Gurus’ findings highlight that 69% of global consumers find scientific claims important when choosing sports nutrition products. Therefore, to combat skepticism, brands must use clinically-proven, scientific evidence to support health claims in sports nutrition products.

Article by Kate Kehoe, marketing executive at FMCG Gurus.

This article is based on FMCG Gurus: Active Nutrition vs Sports Nutrition. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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