The sports nutrition market includes sports foods, drinks, and sports supplements. Sports foods are mainly rich in protein ingredients, such as whey and soy, and are usually available in bar format. Sports drinks increase physical performance and falls into non-alcoholic product category, whereas sports supplement are used in building muscle, gaining weight, and increasing metabolism. Based on type, the sports drinks segment accounted the larger share in the total market in 2014; however, the sports food segment is expected to witness highest growth of 9.7% for the period 2015 – 2020.
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Available as powders, tablets, bars, ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages and gels, the sports nutrition products are aimed at enhancing physical endurance, boost muscle growth, and body mass, or increase recovery after exercise. The global sports nutrition market has been witnessing an exceptional shift in the recent years. The market is steadily turning from traditional products into specific products for mainstream customers. Sports nutrition products that were earlier intended for athletes and body builders are increasingly attracting non-athlete consumer group, especially the younger demographic profile.
Some of the major drivers behind the growth of the sports nutrition market include increasing urbanization, growing number of fitness centers and health clubs, and increasing health consciousness among people. Numbers of health clubs and fitness centers have witnessed a gradual growth in the recent years, across the globe. The growth is attributed to increasing health awareness and changing demographic factors in some countries, with increased proportion of young population. The growth of such establishments is expected to provide further opportunities to the producers of sports nutrition products. Moreover, hectic lifestyle is enabling consumers to become increasingly cautious about their health and sports nutrition products, thus increasing its adoption among the general public. The growing inclination towards healthy lifestyle, through focus on sports and other recreation activities, and consumption of quality health food is influencing the demand for sports nutrition products.
However, negative perceptions about inclusion of questionable ingredients such as steroids and other banned substances, and availability of various health substitutes, are some of the challenges faced by the industry. Additionally, fast changing consumer preferences, especially among new users and expansion of distribution channels is leading to increased competition in the industry. New products development in order to keep pace with consumer requirements confronts the industry. The new segment of consumers from recreational and lifestyle verticals prefer good taste and flavors, apart from health benefits of the products. Certain consumer groups are more inclined towards natural ingredient in sports nutrition food. To meet the requirement of expanded consumer base, manufacturers need to invest in new product development.
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The global sports nutrition market was valued at $24,700.4 million in 2014, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.3%, during the period 2015 – 2020. Geographically, the North American sports nutrition market has been the largest market in 2014. The U.S. continued to be the leading market for sports nutrition products globally.
The key companies operating in the global sports nutrition market include PepsiCo Inc., Glanbia Plc., GNC Holdings, The Coca-Cola Company, MaxiNutrition (GSK), Universal Nutrition, Clif Bar & Company.
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