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Attitudes towards Sports Nutrition - UK - June 2017

“Sports nutrition continues to enjoy growth thanks to it having attracted a more diverse user group; however, the category is facing intensifying competition from mainstream foods embracing a high-protein proposition. Demand for sports nutrition products made with all-natural ingredients and those without sugar highlight areas of focus for brands going forward.”
– Anita Winther, Research Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • Drawing attention to experts can build trust for brands
  • Ingredient scrutiny highlights need for transparency in sports nutrition
  • Worries over ingredients used to make high-protein claims need to be quelled

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Growth through mainstream channels slows markedly in 2016
              • Figure 1: Value sales in the UK sports nutrition food and drink market^, 2014/15-2016/17
            • Specialist channels dominate the market
              • Budget squeeze and ageing population pose challenges for the market
                • No uptick in exercise
                  • Strong touted as the new skinny
                    • Ageing population poses a threat
                      • Tighter budgets could hamper growth in sports nutrition market
                        • Companies and brands
                          • Acquisitions continue
                            • Sports nutrition brands struggle in mainstream grocery
                              • Figure 2: Leading brands’ shares in the UK sports nutrition food and drink market*, by value, 2016/17**
                            • High-protein launches continue to grow
                              • Meat, dairy and snacks attract high-protein NPD
                                • Sports nutrition brands tap new health trends
                                  • Mars looks to protein, Myprotein launches Little Bears
                                    • The consumer
                                      • 27% of adults use sports nutrition products
                                        • Figure 3: Usage of sports nutrition products, April 2017
                                      • Three in ten use high-protein products
                                        • Figure 4: Usage of high-protein products (excluding sports nutrition), April 2017
                                      • Checking credentials of online authors deemed important
                                        • Official health service providers win on trust
                                          • Figure 5: Trust in sources of nutrition and exercise information, by usage of sports nutrition products, April 2017
                                        • Widespread demand for industry-wide certification
                                          • Figure 6: Behaviours relating to sports nutrition, April 2017
                                        • Products for low-intensity activities appeal to young women
                                          • Figure 7: Attitudes towards sports nutrition, April 2017
                                        • The popularity of balanced diets could curb protein appeal
                                          • Figure 8: Attitudes towards protein, April 2017
                                        • What we think
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                          • Drawing attention to experts can build trust for brands
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Ingredient scrutiny highlights need for transparency in sports nutrition
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Worries over ingredients used to make high-protein claims need to be quelled
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Growth through mainstream channels slows markedly in 2016
                                                              • Specialist channels dominate the market
                                                                • Budget squeeze and ageing population pose challenges for the market
                                                                  • No uptick in exercise
                                                                    • Strong touted as the new skinny
                                                                      • Ageing population poses a threat
                                                                        • Tighter budgets could hamper growth in sports nutrition market
                                                                        • Market Size

                                                                          • Growth through mainstream channels slows markedly in 2016
                                                                            • Figure 9: Value sales in the UK sports nutrition food and drink market^, 2014/15-2016/17
                                                                          • Accessible product formats and shelf space have facilitated uptake
                                                                            • Lifestyle users contributed to growth of the market
                                                                              • Specialist channels dominate the market
                                                                                • Budget squeeze and ageing population pose challenges for the market
                                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                                  • No overall uptick in exercise habits
                                                                                    • Figure 10: Frequency of exercise, by gender and age group, April 2017
                                                                                  • Strong touted as the new skinny…
                                                                                    • …with social media a driving force in this context
                                                                                      • Research promotes health benefits of being a ‘weekend warrior’
                                                                                        • Obesity edges upwards despite rise in healthy eating
                                                                                          • High-protein products can benefit from perceptions of being diet-friendly
                                                                                            • The meat reduction trend can bolster demand for vegetarian high-protein foods
                                                                                              • Ageing population poses a threat
                                                                                                • Tighter budgets could hamper growth in sports nutrition market
                                                                                                  • No immediate impact on legislation expected following Brexit
                                                                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                    • Acquisitions continue
                                                                                                      • Sports nutrition brands struggle in mainstream grocery
                                                                                                        • High-protein launches continue to grow
                                                                                                          • Meat, dairy and snacks attract high-protein NPD
                                                                                                            • Sports nutrition brands tap new health trends
                                                                                                              • Mars looks to protein, Myprotein launches Little Bears
                                                                                                              • Market Share

                                                                                                                • Competitive landscape
                                                                                                                  • Science in Sport reports strong performance
                                                                                                                    • Grenade snapped up by Lion Capital
                                                                                                                      • ABF enters sports nutrition with two acquisitions
                                                                                                                        • The Hut Group continues to grow UK sales
                                                                                                                          • Market share through supermarkets
                                                                                                                            • Dunns’ River Nurishment remains on top
                                                                                                                              • Figure 11: Leading brands’ shares in the UK sports nutrition food and drink market*, by value, 2016/17**
                                                                                                                            • MaxiNutrition loses share in mainstream channels
                                                                                                                              • For Goodness Shakes continues to grow
                                                                                                                                • Own-label grows
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 12: Leading brands’ shares in the UK sports nutrition food and drink market^, by value, 2014/15-2016/17
                                                                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation – Sports Nutrition and High-protein Food

                                                                                                                                • Methodology
                                                                                                                                  • High-protein launches continue to grow
                                                                                                                                    • Surge in high-protein dairy launches
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 13: Share of high-protein food launches, by product category, 2016
                                                                                                                                    • Snacks continue to attract high-protein NPD
                                                                                                                                      • Meat manufacturers launch on-the go chicken chunks
                                                                                                                                        • Warburtons brings high protein to the mainstream bakery market
                                                                                                                                          • Sports nutrition brands tap new health trends
                                                                                                                                            • MaxiNutrition unveils new “strong not skinny” women’s range
                                                                                                                                              • PhD Nutrition offers clean and wholefood-based nutrition
                                                                                                                                                • Protein bars attract NPD
                                                                                                                                                  • Mars expands protein offering
                                                                                                                                                    • Kids’ range launched by Myprotein
                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                      • 27% of adults use sports nutrition products
                                                                                                                                                        • Exercise remains a key driver for sports nutrition usage
                                                                                                                                                          • Three in ten use high-protein products
                                                                                                                                                            • Checking credentials of online authors deemed important
                                                                                                                                                              • Official health service providers win on trust
                                                                                                                                                                • Just 26% of users trust sport nutrition brands
                                                                                                                                                                  • Widespread demand for industry-wide certification
                                                                                                                                                                    • Ingredient scrutiny is high
                                                                                                                                                                      • Products for low-intensity activities appeal to young women
                                                                                                                                                                        • The popularity of balanced diets could curb protein appeal
                                                                                                                                                                          • Worries exist over ingredients used to make high-protein claims
                                                                                                                                                                          • Usage of Sports Nutrition and High-protein Products

                                                                                                                                                                            • 27% of adults use sports nutrition products
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Usage of sports nutrition products, by gender, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                            • Exercise drives sports nutrition usage
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 15: Usage of any sports nutrition product, by frequency of exercise, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                            • Young men are core user group of sports nutrition
                                                                                                                                                                              • Young women’s usage of protein powder grows
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Usage of ‘protein powders for a drink’ among 16-24s, by gender, April 2015, May 2016 and April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                              • Tapping the grey pound
                                                                                                                                                                                • Three in ten use high-protein products
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Usage of sports nutrition and high-protein products overlaps
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Usage of high-protein products (excluding sports nutrition), by usage of sports nutrition products, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Cross-over in usage of sport nutrition products and high-protein food/drink, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                • Trust in Sources of Nutrition and Exercise Information

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Checking credentials of online authors deemed important
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Attitudes towards checking online authors’ credentials for diet and fitness information, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Official health service providers win on trust
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Trust in sources of nutrition and exercise information, by usage of sports nutrition products, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Dietitians trusted by many
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Just 26% of users trust sport nutrition brands
                                                                                                                                                                                      • The young trust the widest range of sources
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Behaviours and Attitudes Relating to Sports Nutrition

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Demand for industry-wide certification
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Behaviours relating to sports nutrition, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ingredient scrutiny is high
                                                                                                                                                                                          • High engagement highlights need to respond to ingredient concerns
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Price remains a barrier to trial
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Products tailored for low-intensity activities appeal to young women
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Agreement with selected statements about sports nutrition, by usage of sports nutrition products, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards High-protein Products

                                                                                                                                                                                              • The popularity of balanced diets could curb protein appeal…
                                                                                                                                                                                                • ...but doubts over getting enough work in favour of high-protein products
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Attitudes towards high-protein foods, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Frequent exercisers recognise benefit of upping protein intake
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Attitudes towards high-protein foods, by usage of high-protein food/drink, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Worries exist over ingredients used to make high-protein claims
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Transparency of ingredients needed to quell concern
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Spelling out protein content should help prove value
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Share of new UK food and drink product launches featuring a high protein claim, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Share of new UK food launches featuring a high protein claim, by category, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Share of new UK drink launches featuring a high protein claim, by category, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Trends in high-protein food launches in selected categories, 2013-16 and 2015-16

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Attitudes towards Sports Nutrition - UK - June 2017

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