Trends and Developments in Sports Nutrition

February 2015

Strongly outpacing other major consumer health categories, sports nutrition broke the US$10 billion retail value sales mark in 2014. As it continues to clean up its once rogue image, interest is growing among companies from across the consumer packaged goods landscape. The inflow of resources is expected to help the category push beyond its current infrastructure barriers and capture more mass consumer attention, establishing sports nutrition as a true consumer health growth engine.

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Truly global growth in sport nutrition

Unlike many packaged food and other consumer packaged goods industries, sport nutrition is witnessing strong growth rates across a wide spectrum of markets, including some of the most mature consumer markets in the world. The prospect of growth in stable, business-friendly markets is a major draw for investors.

Mass consumers are flocking to the category

The rise of protein as a super-nutrient, fuelled as much by the popular press as pharmacists and practitioners, and the growing urgency around increased activity and fitness to stave off lifestyle diseases are opening the minds of mainstream consumers. For their part, a growing number of producers are capitalising on the opportunity by reformulating and repackaging sports nutrition to appeal to less sophisticated consumers and retailers alike.

Protein remains king

Protein products account for the vast majority of sports nutrition sales. While ingredient preferences vary by market, in general, protein has benefited from its food-like character and has established itself as the category’s most ubiquitous ingredient.

Non-protein products poised for growth… if they can extend mass appeal

Non-protein products, led by combination pre-workout products, are a mainstay for the category’s core users. However, a history of dubious suppliers, unfamiliar ingredients and a hyperbolic claims arms race have combined to alienate mass consumers. Given the solid scientific standing many of the key ingredients enjoy, the category would seem to have strong potential if producers are willing to embrace more mass-friendly marketing.


Scope: Sports nutrition global sales (US$, rsp) in 2014
Global “sports foods/drinks ” sales (US$, rsp) in 2014
Key findings
Key findings (cont’d)
Sports nutrition sales development

Global Sales Dynamics

Evolving healthy weight and fitness trends favour sports nutrition
Growth beyond the BRIC countries
Price remains an issue in the developing world
Regulations play a significant role in product access

Competitive Landscape

Sports nutrition’s diverse corporate base
Sports nutrition’s diverse corporate base (cont’d)
Global market leaders in sports nutrition
High growth fuels consolidation
Big Food targets the sports nutrition consumer
Sports nutrition increasingly courting the health and wellness crowd
Case study: Muscle Pharm’s rapid push for expansion
Muscle Pharm: New products and endorsements drive growth
Muscle Pharm: FitMiss seeks to tap new demographics
Muscle Pharm: Is the future in health and wellness convergence ?
Muscle Pharm global growth

Sports Nutrition’s Developing Regions

Regional overview: Latin America
Latin American sports nutrition category growth
Price and quality are major headwinds in Brazil
Sports nutrition growth in Latin America
Regional overview: Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe’s regulatory mine field
Russia’s evolving competitive and retailing landscape
Sports nutrition growth in Eastern Europe
Asia Pacific
China: A vaunted but difficult-to-crack market
Sports nutrition growth in Asia Pacific

Evolution of the Consumer

Going beyond the core
Performance as a lifestyle accessory for the fitness lifestyle user
Mass-facing brands gather steam
Private label could bring more mass consumers to the category
Female consumers remain under-engaged

Protein Products

Protein: The heart and soul of sports nutrition
A look around the protein products world
New benefits focus could open new markets
Protein products increasingly targeting lifestyle trends
New formats attracting new consumers

Non-Protein Products

Non-protein products global sales growth
Non-protein products relatively strong in emerging markets
Stand-alone ingredients gaining steam
Convenience formats help expand category appeal
Targeting the sports and energy drinks market


Continued strong performance expected
Global category growth
Regional sports nutrition growth
Data parameters and report definitions
Category definitions
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