Susan Kleiner, PhD, is a nutritionist who consults with individual clients, companies and professional sports leagues. Kleiner is a founding member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Meeting lifestyle consumers where they are
Kleiner said many sports nutrition brands are moving in the direction of finding more of a lifestyle positioning for some of their products in an attempt to reach new consumers beyond the dedicated gym goer set. In doing so, they are meeting a movement in the market itself.
Kleiner said that demographic changes are helping to boost this potential consumer segment. Lifestyle diseases are on the rise. And younger and younger consumers are in need of real help to try to recapture a base level of fitness, much less trying to maintain health as they age.
“In the beginning I think it was just a tiny market, but it is growing fast. You used to have sports nutrition brands that might have a joint health product for example that targeted an older demographic,” she told NutraIngredients-USA.
“I think the category is getting younger than it was because I think that people are in much worse health now at a younger age than they ever were. You have young children and teenagers show signs of being diabetic. You have children as young as two years old exhibiting signs of type 2 diabetes, what they used to call ‘adult onset,’” she said.
“You now have people trying to improve their health in their late 20s or early 30s,” Kleiner said.
Kleiner said she has seen an evolution in the way products are being marketed for this segment. The tie in with healthy lifestyle choices is helping the market move away from crude come-ons built around weight loss claims.
Broader audience for self help
“There is a convergence of many events that is leading to a deeper and broader audience for self help. The American College of Sports Medicine is making inroads with their ‘exercise is medicine’ campaign. Even Weight Watchers isn’t selling weight loss any more,” she said.
“I think it forces products away from their previous very easy and unintellectual claims like ‘lose weight while you sleep.’ It also means that I believe the products that will survive in this marketplace as those that are supported by science,” Kleiner said.
Active Nutrition Online Event
Kleiner will take part in a discussion forum on this topic on May 23 as part of NutraIngredients-USA’s upcoming Active Nutrition Online Event. The event will include a market overview session provided Diane Ray of the Natural Marketing Institute. It will also feature ingredient-specific sessions sponsored Kyowa Hakko USA and Mitsubishi International Food Ingredients.
Joining Kleiner on the discussion panel will be Tim Avila, principal in the consultancy Systems Bioscience, and Rachel Kreider, MPH, manager of innovation at bodybuilding.com.
For more information on this FREE event and to register, click here.