The market insights platform operated by William Reed, the publisher of NutraIngredients-Asia, analysed the data from 20 countries between September 2018 and March last year.
Analysis of product reviews showed that on average, across APAC countries, there were about 600 reviews focusing on the aesthetic benefits of female sports nutrition products.
This was followed by wellbeing with about 200 related reviews and fat/weight loss benefits.
In contrast, there are more reviews on fast-twitch muscle activation (1,000) amongst consumers in non-APAC countries.
A common concern most-talked-about amongst both APAC and non-APAC female consumers was the digestibility of products.
Across APAC countries, there was an average of over 1,400 reviews focusing on product digestibility and the number of such reviews went up by nearly 150% during the review period.
While product digestibility was also a top concern in non-APAC countries, the number of reviews surrounding strength improvement saw the greatest growth, increasing by 12,000%.
The most reviewed brands across all 20 countries were Women’s Best followed by Fitmiss – the female sports nutrition arm of established brand MusclePharm.
Notably, both are relatively new brands that entered the market in 2015 and 2013 respectively.
The analysis also showed that animal protein products have garnered more reviews and higher star reviews than plant protein products amongst female users.
For example, in terms of protein bars and powders available in the market for women’s use, 44.8% of these products were made based on animal-derived protein, 29.9% were a mix of plant and animal-derived protein, and 25.4% are plant protein.
“This is bucking global trends, where review growth in animal and plant-based proteins are roughly equal,” said Thomas Morgan, senior market analyst at Lumina Intelligence.
Japan, China trends
Japan is a market leader in terms of the proportion of female sports nutrition products available in the market.
Almost 6% of all products are catered to women. France and Australia trail behind, with female sports nutrition constituting 4.7% and 4.1% of all products available.
Across all the 20 countries reviewed, on average, only 2.5% of the products ‘explicitly targeted’ women.
In terms of product reviews and the number of star ratings, China is however, the most engaged market within APAC.
While China is a nascent market for female sports nutrition, it has big growth potential by virtue of its population size and e-commerce power.
A way forward, according to Morgan, was to provide customised products based on the data available from e-commerce transactions.
The current consumption trend in China also showed that influencer-led brands and combining sports nutrition products with beauty powder and collagen are also potential moves that brands can consider, he said.
Find out more about Lumina here.