Sports nutrition is a dietary discipline that studies the dietary and nutritional requirements of sportspersons and athletes. It relates to the intake of fluids, vitamins and minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and supplements in quantities proportional to the physical activity of a sportsperson. Individuals that are not professional athletes but wish to follow a healthy lifestyle with moderate exercise and a closely-controlled diet also resort to health nutrition products. People are not just exercising caution about consuming unhealthy foods, but are also consulting professional nutritionists and dieticians for professional advice on this front.
The nutritional products market comprises a myriad of products ranging from health bars to energy drinks to whey powders to other supplements. While nutritional contents in such products are important, market research has proven that the taste of sports nutrition products is a key deciding factor in a purchase decision. Globally, this market is driven by an increasingly health-conscious consumer base and growing awareness about leading an active lifestyle coupled with a well-balanced diet.
The evolution of the sports nutrition market
If you were to look at the sports nutrition market [http://www.marketresearchreports.biz/analysis/181855] about two decades ago, you would notice that the main - and probably only - consumers of these products were professional athletes and body builders. However, towards the 90s various exercise regimens became popular and the gym culture proliferated. With this, the consumer base for sports nutrition products expanded to include fitness enthusiasts and those engaging in sports as a recreational activity. Soon, there were a variety of sports nutrition products targeted at female consumers and at male consumers. Sports-specific nutritional products were eventually introduced as well.
A large market for nutritional products already exists. According to Transparency Market Research, the sports nutrition market was valued at USD 20.7 billion in 2012. Despite growth propellers in this market, there are a few factors that could curtail growth. This industry is still struggling to understand the changing preferences of consumers and to expand distribution channels to reduce the demand-supply disparity.
Dissecting the market geographically
This industry saw its early roots in the European and U.S. markets. As a result, it has existed here for over three decades and these regions are also the dominant consumers of sports nutrition products. But, the dynamics of this industry are now changing with the developing world spurring a growing demand for sports drinks, energy bars, whey proteins, energy gels, and so on. Consumers in these regions of the world are allocating more money towards fitness and health-related products. As these developing countries continue to occupy a larger share of the overall demand for nutrition products, they will likely challenge the supremacy of developed economies that existed hitherto.
Many leading players in this industry have already carried out innovative marketing campaigns (such as high-profile sports events) to promote their products, and have laid the foundation for future growth. Figures show that many of these campaigns have been successful as they have resulted in higher sales of nutritional products.
Segments within the sports nutrition market
This market can be broadly classified as: sports supplements, sports food, and sports drinks. The sports drinks market was worth USD 12,435.4 million as of 2012.
The conventional distribution channel for such nutritional products was gymnasiums and health stores. But this is changing with many supermarkets and other general format stores stocking these products. This has made products the sports nutrition category accessible to a larger consumer base. The fastest growing market in this category is Asia Pacific, as it already enjoys a steady market in Australia, Japan and China.
However, this market continues to grow as potentially lucrative business opportunities continue to be tapped across the developing word.
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