The global sports nutrition market size was valued at USD 42.9 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 81.8 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 7.4% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
The study of and application of a diet/plan intended to improve athletic performance is known as sports nutrition. The best performance is achieved by delivering the right amount of food type (protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, etc.), fluids, and nutrients to maximize energy and assist sports recovery. It is particularly common in sports that call for stamina and strength. Sports nutrition is crucial to optimizing the benefits of physical activity, regardless of whether someone is exercising to maintain or improve their physical and mental health or if they are a professional athlete in training. According to FMI, the growing popularity of foods and beverages made with soy protein is boosting sales of sports nutrition in developed countries, particularly in North America and Europe.
One of the primary aspects influencing the market is the growing preference for a healthy, active lifestyle. Yoga, meditation, and physical activity are becoming increasingly popular, greatly influencing people's desire to lead active lives. Additionally, a rising desire for the ideal body, particularly among the younger population, is estimated to fuel market expansion. Consumers favor preventative measures over curative ones regarding illness or disease. As a result, the demand is growing as awareness of the importance of sports nutrition in maintaining health and leading an active lifestyle grows. Another important aspect influencing growth is the rising popularity of natural and organic products.
Growing consumer desire for flavorful drinks that are healthful and nutritious will also result in increased market growth for sports nutrition. The number of exercise enthusiasts has never been higher since COVID-19. Therefore, more and more customers are choosing to live healthier lifestyles. The acceptance of vegan and plant-based sports drinks and energy bars drive sales bars. Sales of sports nutrition products increased due to people's increased awareness of their health and wellness due to the global lockdown.
The industry's meteoric growth has been greatly influenced by the rise of sports nutrition programs in recent years. These campaigns include various actions meant to increase awareness of the significance of healthy eating for athletes and other physically active people. Awareness has been raised, nutrition has been incorporated into training plans, collaborations have been formed with athletes and sports organizations, technological advances have been accepted, distribution channels have been broadened, and constant research and innovation have been promoted thanks to these efforts. It is anticipated that the market for sports nutrition will continue to rise to accommodate the rising demand for specialized goods and services that enhance athletic performance and promote general well-being.
The availability of nutritional and athletic supplements, as is the potential for product fraud, is growing. Italian Medicines Agency data shows that during the last five years, 170 examples of illegal supply chains among EU member states were recorded compared to 27 known counterfeit pharmaceutical cases in the regular supply chain. The National Anti-Counterfeiting Board (HENT) reported that in Hungary, 46.7% of people aged 18 to 22 had eaten fake supplements in 2019, up from 31% in 2018.
In addition, drug compounds found in dietary supplements are a big concern in Europe. The 370 dietary supplements marketed as herbal products and evaluated by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines lab networks contained roughly 47% nondeclared APIs. These elements are anticipated to have a detrimental effect on market expansion.
Despite the sports nutrition market's rising popularity, low consumer awareness remains a major obstacle. Many people lack thorough knowledge of sports nutrition products, their advantages, and how to use them properly. Sports nutrition supplements are frequently misunderstood as primarily used by professional athletes or people participating in high-intensity sports. A sizable segment of the population, especially amateur athletes and fitness enthusiasts, who may profit from sports nutrition products to support their active lifestyles, may be excluded by this attitude. It is essential to alter this perception in order to grow the consumer base.
The market for sports nutrition has a lot of growth potential due to the popularity of plant-based diets and the demand for clean-label products. Natural, minimally processed, and sustainably sourced foods are what customers want. This expanding market niche can be reached by creating plant-based sports nutrition products that provide crucial nutrients and appeal to vegan and vegetarian consumers.
Several companies in the sports nutrition industry are introducing plant-based versions of their sports protein bars, powders, and Ready-to-Drink (RTD) drinks in response to the rising demand for veganism. According to the Vegan Society, there have been 600% more vegans in the US during the last three years. As a result, more athletes and fitness enthusiasts are selecting vegan options in the sports nutrition sector to improve their performance and recovery.
The global sports nutrition market is bifurcated into product type, application, and distribution channels.
Based on product type, the global market is bifurcated into supplements, drinks, and foods.
The sports supplement segment dominates the global market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.2% over the forecast period. Due to rising health and fitness consciousness and the wide commercial availability of sports supplements, the sports supplements sector held the biggest market share. An important factor in the huge market share is the growth of fitness and gym facilities, as these facilities promote the products. In the upcoming years, growth is also anticipated to be boosted by increased product launches and continuous research on novel chemicals. For instance, NOW Sports announced the release of 10 new energy, recovery, and endurance products in May 2020, including electrolytes, BCAAs, and MCT. Similarly, Powerstage Sports Nutrition unveiled a new range of sports supplements for athletes in September 2020 to enhance peak performance and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Based on the distribution channel segment, the global market is bifurcated into e-commerce and bricks and mortar.
The bricks and mortar owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10% over the forecast period. Bricks and mortar businesses held the largest percentage; a large consumer base for retail establishments is a major component in this share. The proliferation of specialty shops and fitness centers is key to the segment's development. Additionally, retail establishments work to improve customers' in-store experiences and overall customer involvement. For instance, GNC has over 4,800 retail locations, whereas Vitamin Shoppe only has about 785 locations nationwide. Another important driver for the expansion of this channel is consumer confidence. Compared to online platforms, which carry the risk of buying alternative or counterfeit goods, consumers tend to rely more on this channel.
Based on the application segment, the global market is bifurcated into pre-and post-workout.
The post-workout category held the largest market share. The popularity of supplements used after workouts to improve muscular strength and recuperation expanded along with the trend toward fitness and active lifestyles. These supplements support future performance by replenishing, refueling, and rehydrating the body. Additionally, expanding health and fitness facilities across the globe will support category growth. The availability of post-workout supplements in energy bars, RTD drinks, powders, and capsules is also anticipated to expand the market.
Based on region, the global sports nutrition market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% during the forecast period. The need for sports nutrition in this region is rising as there is a greater focus on health and wellbeing. Other significant drivers anticipated to propel market expansion include the rising number of new product launches in the sports supplements category, which indicates a high demand for these goods in the upcoming years, and the local presence of leading market players. Another important aspect encouraging these items is the rise in government programs supporting sporting events. For instance, the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition encourages initiatives and events to raise public interest in sports.
Improvements in related businesses are also helping the economy grow. For instance, in November 2018, BASF introduced PeptAIde, an artificial intelligence-identified sports nutrition supplement made up of a special collection of plant-based peptides that help to control inflammation. Similarly, in June 2016, Flex Pharma, Inc. unveiled HOTSHOT, a sports injection with scientific backing that helps endurance and non-endurance athletes avoid cramping and pain. The market's increased product availability due to the presence of both new and established businesses helps nutritional products spread more quickly in this area.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 12.1% over the forecast period. The European market is estimated to grow the fastest during the forecast period. This is connected to the general public's growing awareness of healthy lifestyles. New product introductions and increased marketing and promotional activities by manufacturers are further factors anticipated to support the growth of the market over the forecast period. Further, an increase in European athletes and a strong demand for supplements are expected to boost the market growth. Many businesses in this area also market athletic supplements online. In the past, only athletes would use these items. However, many Europeans have recently started taking sports supplements to strengthen a healthy lifestyle and manage weight.
The Asia-Pacific market is expected to surge in demand due to the rising trend of veganism and vegetarianism, a shift away from animal and plant-based proteins, such as peas and rice. Asia-Pacific has a diverse range of preferences for sports nutrition items. For instance, Chinese consumers favor low-sugar products, whereas Koreans care about flavor and texture. Domestic players now have more opportunities because of the rising popularity of sports nutrition products. In addition, players who have invested in online platforms are seeing huge potential due to improvements in the digital infrastructure of growing economies like China and India.
Furthermore, international businesses collaborate with regional players to increase their presence there. Asian nations are also evolving into centers for R&D and outsourcing, including China, India, and the Philippines. For instance, Herbalife and Syngene International Ltd., a contract research business in Asia, entered a collaboration agreement in 2017 to create a nutrition R&D facility in India. There are numerous small and large market participants in this area, such as Herbalife, Abbott Nutrition, and Danone Asia Pty Ltd.
In Latin America, growing consumer focus on health and fitness and increasing willingness to spend on sports nutrition products are some of the factors anticipated to drive market demand in this region. Sports nutrition is expected to grow strongly in this region due to rising consumer interest in and spending on health and fitness. For instance, a 2018 survey by Arla Foods Ingredients found that roughly 61% of respondents would pay a higher price for high-protein beverages and sports drinks. In addition, the region's rising disposable income benefits the demand for sports supplements. Businesses in this area are investing in taste innovation research to meet consumer demand and broaden the market.
In the Middle East and Africa, rowing self-medication trends, expanding sports nutrition product distribution networks, rising health consciousness, and quickly entering new brands are key drivers of regional market growth. Due to customer propensity to acquire goods that improve performance in sporting activities, there is growing potential in the region for manufacturers of sports nutrition supplements. The South African market is still significant in the Middle East and Africa because reliable companies exist. Despite the country's modest economic growth, high-income consumers drive most of the market for sports nutrition goods.
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