Emerging Trends in the Sports Nutritional Market

Driven by 77 million consumers of sports drinks and 28 million consumers of nutrition bars, the sports nutritional market has experienced encouraging growth in recent years.

According to a report released by Packaged Facts, however, there exist vast demographic and attitudinal differences between high-volume users of sports drinks and those who eat relatively large quantities of nutrition bars.

Women dominate the market for nutrition bars, as only 45 percent of those eating at least one nutrition bar in the last 30 days are men, while 55 percent are women. Female consumers of nutrition bars outnumber their male counterparts 15.2 million to 12.4 million and offer a major opportunity for nutrition bar brands as well as other sports nutritionals geared toward women.

In contrast, men account for 64 percent of high-volume users of sports drinks, and young men are most likely to consume them. Yet, it would be in the best interest of marketers to face the fact that the population of males under the age of 25, a prized marketing target, will decline over the next decade as the aging of America begins to accelerate.

Consumers pursuing individual sports and fitness activities, rather than team sport players, are the key to success in the retail sports nutritional market, according to Packaged Facts. When it comes to targeting consumers of large quantities of sports nutritional products, 6.3 million fitness walkers comprise the single largest and most attractive market segment. Those taking yoga classes (1.3 million) as well as those pursuing outdoor activities such as mountain biking (1.5 million) and camping and backpacking (1.2 million each) are more numerous than soccer, football, softball, baseball or volleyball players.

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