Sports nutrition is seeing a revival in its fortunes in 2021. The category experienced a dramatic fall in sales in the previous year as lockdowns led to less physically active lifestyles and, importantly, the closure of non-essential stores, gyms and fitness centres, which significantly limited distribution of sports nutrition products, as well as undermining demand.
Convenience is the major driver of growth in the protein/energy bars category in 2021, helping to make it the most dynamic category during the year. The category has achieved strong growth even during the COVID-19 crisis because such products were easily available and took little to no effort to re-stock during in-store visits.
Glanbia Plc’s Optimum Nutrition Inc remains the leader in sports nutrition. Its products are distributed domestically by specialist retailers, most notably by Acro doo’s Muscle Freak chain.
As the immediate threat from COVID-19 wanes and the disease becomes a managed fact of life, and lifestyles return to something like normality, conditions are expected to favour the further development of sports nutrition sales. The fitness craze witnessed over the review period, which resulted in strong sales of sports protein powder, is already returning to normal in 2021 and this trend will further intensify over the forecast period.
Over 2021-2026, protein/energy bars is expected to continue to expand its presence in retailing, especially outside its traditional channels. The category will increasingly target the general population, where a growing number of consumers want to boost their protein intake.
There is a growing opportunity for distributors of sports nutrition to market and sell these products online, especially since the COVID-19 crisis significantly expanded the e-commerce consumer base and familiarised many consumers with shopping online. Both Acro doo and Olymp Sport doo are shifting their advertising spend to the internet, particularly social media, in an effort to drive growth in e-commerce.
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These nutritional products improve physical endurance, increasing muscle growth/development/mass, or speeding recovery after exercise. Sports nutrition is targeted at serious athletes and gym-goers, and their principal purpose is to build muscle and to boost energy. Sports Nutrition tracks two types of products: Protein and Non-Protein. Sports protein include bars, powder and ready-to-drink (RTD) offerings. Sports Non-Protein include products that do not have protein as its core ingredient. They can be used to repair muscle or as energy/endurance booster. Note: Mainstream sports nutrition products such as sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade) or energy drinks (e.g. Red Bull) are not included here. Energy and sports drinks are tracked in the Soft Drinks system.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Sports Nutrition research and analysis database.
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