The sports supplements market is healthier than ever. It is estimated that the world will be consuming £8bn a year of bars, drinks and other supplements by 2017.
There is, however, a wave of products entering the market that are being developed for the mainstream and targeted at people without much knowledge of the supplements industry.
Traditional protein drinks have usually been characterised by displays of large bottles and tubs, often with ‘loud’ label designs and images of very muscular models. The powders and bars were designed to appeal to hard-core gym goers and amateur athletes. The typical customer was someone who wanted to build muscle and aid recovery after heavy workouts.
The most significant recent change in the industry is that the latest generation of supplement users are more likely to purchase products as part of a holistically healthy lifestyle. Protein supplements are no longer associated exclusively with the bodybuilding world. The general health and fitness market is now even more important. Some of the largest industry players have contributed to this shift in public perception with concerted information campaigns in print, online and even TV adverts.
Everybody needs protein in their diet on a daily basis; it is essential for body tissues, necessary for growth and contributes to muscle mass and bone health.
Additionally, more and more people are taking an interest in their wellbeing, with a healthy and balanced diet seen as a vital aspect to get right. As awareness of the benefits of protein increases, so do the channels down which you can market your protein products.
The combined result has been a sharp increase in sales. According to Euromonitor figures, worldwide sales of sports related protein products grew from £2.5bn in 2007 to £4.9bn in 2012 and are likely to reach £7.8bn in 2017. In the UK, sales increased from £73m in 2007 to £170m in 2012 and are expected to reach £358m by 2017.
The market is now bigger and more diverse than ever, as more and more people are interested in protein products and supplements. The key is knowing how to market for these different sectors. Something as simple as branding can make a real difference – and if you’re thinking about tackling more than one sector, it might be worth considering having more than one brand to do so.
So, there has never been a better time to invest in the protein market as the demand grows. You know your customers better than anyone and we know production, so together we can deliver the products the market is looking for.