Sports Supplements Are Shaping a Market

There has been a notable increase in the number of sports nutrition brands coming to prominence in the retail market in recent years. The good news is that renewed focus on health and fitness since March could help kick-start the category and be vital for brands and retailers to re-engage their shoppers.

Across the UK, new and growing companies are muscling into the mainstream – and with the sector itself worth over £2bn globally – there is room for businesses to make their mark.

Millennial opportunities

The driving force behind this growth has been the ‘Millennial’ generation, who have changed the way the dietary and nutrition companies have marketed themselves. With larger numbers of people now caring about what food they put in their bodies, this sector is only set to grow further.

millenial opportunities illustration

The younger, millennial market drives many of the latest market trends in the sports sector, in nutrition and beyond. According to research from Global Web Index, nearly one in five (76%) millennials exercises at least once a week. While there are plenty of sports nutrition products targeted at different types of athletes at different stages in their training and recovery, ‘hybrid products’ emphasise protein content and are sold in mainstream supermarkets.

As sports moves more mainstream, the products will as well. Free from is a big platform, especially for millennial consumers. We see more and more products that are positioned as lactose and gluten free and vegan for example.

Digestive health claims

At the other end of the age spectrum, an increasing number of older consumers, Boomers, are also taking their health and exercise more seriously than ever before.

As seniors become a more important demographic for sports nutrition, there is an opportunity for digestive health as a secondary platform, adding that digestive health claims are becoming more prevalent in sports nutrition. Over the past year alone, the number of products with a digestive or gut health claim has doubled.

elderly couple with bikes

We are seeing ‘easy to digest’ claims, linked to protein, but we are also seeing more ingredients like probiotics, fibre and some botanicals like mint and ginger also being incorporated into products.

shoppers survey
levels of category engagement
mandms protein bars

However, there are existing brands within the confectionary sector which have fancied a slice of the action in the sports nutrition sector and have recently launched High Protein Bars;

Personally, I’m not sure whether the association with a well-established chocolate treat enables me to take the new bar seriously as a protein bar, the stigma of indulgence will always be my foremost thought when I see something like the above, but time will tell and hopefully prove me wrong! What it does show is that this is a fast growing market for many protein products to enter, those for the use of well-being only (so possibly high protein diets), without the sports association and those of which are a sports supplement for before, during and after their event or exercise.

high 5 protein bars

AB Sports Nutrition is a new customer for Impulse they were first on the sports market for many aspects.

• First in the World to launch 2:1 fructose energy drinks

• First in the World to research 2:1 performance gains and produce step-by-step nutrition guides

• First in Europe to launch a 4:1 carbohydrate and protein drinks for use during and after sport

• First in the World to undertake advanced carbohydrate absorption testing with elite athletes, setting new records in the process

• First in Europe to use real fruit juice for a lighter more refreshing gel taste, and still remain one of the few companies to do so. Sports nutrition is about more than just go faster technology, it needs to taste great as well!

We have worked with AB Nutrition to create and produce their brand’s High 5 single sided display with a successful European rollout, simple but effective.

high5 products display
High5 empty display

Boost your protein profits and see how we could help your brand.


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