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Sports nutrition market sees 30% CAGR between 2016-2020

Sports nutrition market expands
Consumers are seeking sports nutrition products to boost energy and deliver targeted health benefits, according to a new market analysis by Ingredion.

Consumer interest in health and wellness is continuing to drive strong growth across the industry with the sports nutrition category expected to reach a value of €35 million by 2025, as stated by Euromonitor data. This is one of the top line findings showcased in a new market analysis from Ingredion which reveals opportunities within the growing sports nutrition market. Ingredion cited further growth data from Innova, which reported product launches in this segment across EMEA experienced a 31.2% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) between 2016-2020, more than double the global rate.  

Market overview 

Energy drinks, bars, RTD (ready-to-drink) beverages, and powders are all part of the sports nutrition market. In 2020, Europe accounted for over 60% of global sports nutrition product launches according to Innova. Western Europe alone accounted for 52.3% of these global launches; Germany, the United Kingdom (U.K), and the Netherlands led the pack, comprising 13.5%, 11%, and 7% respectively of new product launches. However, Ireland, Italy, and Spain experienced the highest growth in new launches at 66.4%, 60.1%, and 58.1% respectively. 

What consumers want 

The report included Innova’s five key reasons why individuals choose to consume sports nutrition products. Top of the list was boosting energy, with 38% of individuals consuming these products to increase or keep energy levels high. Health benefits were also a crucial factor with 37% of individuals referencing it as a motive for consumption. Other reasons include product convenience (21%), taste (18%), and to satisfy hunger or thirst (13%). 

Category insights 

High protein content is dominating the sports nutrition conversation accounting for over half of new product launches across the EMEA in 2020 according to an Innova Insights report on sports nutrition. This category is continuing to experience steady growth with a 16% CAGR from 2015-2019. Other important positioning factors for new product launches include energy/alertness (27.01%) and gluten-free (20.72%); however, these categories account for a smaller percentage of total sports nutrition launches when compared to 2016 levels. Instead, categories including no added sugar and low sugar experienced the highest growth in new product launches across the EMEA with 43% and 31% CAGR from 2015-2019. This is reflective of concerns over high sugar consumption on blood glucose support and weight management. Additionally, government initiatives to reduce the consumption of sugar have been instrumental in this change. Vegan claims were found to be important considerations for new product development with a 26% CAGR from 2015-2019 within the EMEA. Additionally, a report on U.K Diet Trends by Finder discovered that 15% of millennials identify as being vegan which presents development opportunities for plant-based protein products.  

Formulation Challenges 

Ingredion’s analysis concludes that to meet consumer demands, sports nutrition companies must overcome the manufacturing challenges of shelf-life stability, texture enhancement, processing efficiency, formulating non-dairy, and cost. These must be optimised to meet the growing consumer demands for enhanced flavour and nutrition, reduced sugar content, improved taste, and increased functionality.  


To learn more about the report “Success in sports nutrition”, visit 

TAGS: Trends
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