Sports nutrition will see a shift away from synthetic ingredients and towards herbal products, TechNavio suggests in its Global Sports Nutrition Products Market 2016-2020 report. As of 2015, Europe makes up just over a quarter of the sports nutrition market, with North America on 41% and Asia-Pacific on just under 20%.
“The market is witnessing a genuine advancement of sports nutrition technology and products. The growth in demand is more inclined toward the use of herbal supplements, a shift in consumer preference from synthetic ingredients to more natural formulations. These products are particularly positioned for athletes, who tend to drift toward hydrators, cleaner fuels, and recovery offerings,” said Abhay Sinha, lead analyst at TechNavio.
EFSA regs restore trust
Regarding the European market specifically, Sinha said: “The awareness about benefits of supplements in Europe is driving the demand for sports nutrition supplement in the region. New regulation from EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has improved clarity regarding sports nutrition supplement, consequently restoring the trust in such products. Natural, free of chemicals and more controlled products, due to new EFSA legislation, are likely to widen consumer base in future.
“Though the demand for nutritional supplements is highest in France, Germany leads the market in terms of consumption of sports nutritional products. There is a VAT of 20% on certain sports nutrition products in the UK that is affecting the market growth,” he added.
According to TechNavio, protein products will continue to be a big driver of growth in sports nutrition, with a greater variety of protein ingredients on offer. Sinha said while poor-quality protein will continue to be a challenge, it will shift away from Europe and the US.
“This problem is likely to have lesser impact in the developed region (US and Europe) because of many governments adopting stringent norms and putting a quality check on the end-products. However, this becomes a major issue in developing regions of APAC where the growth is fueled by changing demographics and growing awareness; however, there is a little regulatory inspection on these products. Poor-quality products put mistrust in end-users about the use of sports nutrition products, which hamper the market growth as well,” said Sinha.
Fakers gonna fake
Counterfeit products will also remain a big problem for sports nutrition producers, with particular risks arising from the use of toxic ingredients in fake products, such as ‘kratom’ found in 90,000 bottles of supplements seized in the US in January 2016. Sinha said the industry was fighting back, though.
“Brands and officials try their best to catch counterfeits in every continent of the world. However, once counterfeit products get into the mainstream channels of commerce, it costs more to stop them from being sold. However, many companies are implementing measure to counter the issue,” he said.
“For example, in Cambodia, products sold by legal distributors have an SMS Digital Anti-Counterfeit Stamp issued by companies who offer sports nutrition ingredients and end-products. Similarly, in Vietnam, products have an SMS Digital Anti-Counterfeit Stamp issued by the vendor,” Sinha added.