Growth projected for sports nutrition as Covid-19 related rules are lifted

A new report from 3A Business Consulting, The Global Market for Sports Nutrition and Dairy/Plant Proteins 2021-2025, shows that the market for sports nutrition will continue its value and volume growth as pandemic related rules are lifted. The global sports nutrition market is estimated to US$21.9 billion in 2020 and expected to amount around $31.2bn in 2025 corresponding to an impressive CAGR of 7.4%. Protein powder represents the biggest value category followed by protein/energy bars.

North America amounts to 63% of the global market value followed by Western Europe and Asia Pacific. In terms of per capita spending, the US is the biggest spender followed by Australia. In Western Europe, the UK and the Nordic countries are the heavy users. Some key trends are:

  • Sports nutrition has seen continued expansion of its consumer base from the core users, ie, bodybuilders and serious athletes, to a wide array of consumers looking to live a healthier and more active lifestyle, so-called active nutrition.
  • Sports protein powder remains the major sports Nntrition category accounting for around 50% of global sales value and is expected to continue growing with whey protein as the most significant protein ingredient.
  • Covid-19 has extensively impacted the sports nutrition industry, with changes in distribution channels, product development, consumers’ awareness of overall health as well as consumer buying behaviour.
  • With a greater focus on overall health and more consumers looking for clean label products, an increasing demand for natural ingredients is seen in sports nutrition. Ingredients such as organic and grass-fed whey and milk proteins and plant-based proteins have gained prominence due to both health and ethical concerns.
  • E-commerce is the fastest growing distribution channel, as it offers extensive availability to product information, ingredients and prices, as well as being a convenient way of shopping, due to many consumers having easy and constant access to the internet through smartphones and tablets.

Dairy proteins used in sports nutrition are whey and milk proteins. For whey proteins, it is whey protein concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate and whey protein isolate. Native whey proteins have started to appear in sports nutrition. Milk proteins used include milk protein concentrate, milk protein isolate, milk protein hydrolysate, caseinates and to a lesser extent micellar casein. Consumption of plant proteins in sports nutrition is increasing; key plant proteins used are soy protein isolate, pea protein isolate and rice protein isolate.

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