Performance Food and Drink - US - January 2013
“Although a portion of active consumers are users of performance food and drink, a segment of exercisers abstain from the category for lack of need, preference for other foods, and concerns about product cost. Manufacturers need to address these concerns by focusing communication on the formulation, scientific tests, and other elements that make products effective; thus, necessary elements for athletes and exercisers. Additional opportunities exist for brands to broaden the appeal of performance food and drink products to casual exercisers and dieters, who likely would be drawn in by low-calorie, portion-controlled and/or energizing products.”
– Jennifer Zegler, Beverage Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How can manufacturers increase usage among active consumers?
- Who should be considered as new audiences for performance products?
- What product formulations should be considered to grow the category?
For many consumers, the concept of food and beverages formulated for specific benefits before, during, or after activity usage, which Mintel has categorized as performance foods and beverages, is an elusive, if not confusing, concept. PepsiCo brought the once-niche idea to the mainstream market in mid-2010 when it relaunched its Gatorade sports drink brand as the multifaceted G Series, which includes food and drinks made with specific formulations for each stage of physical activity. Since the relaunch, Gatorade has devoted much of its marketing to promoting the benefits of pre-, during-, and post-activity formulations.
Although a portion of active consumers already were dedicated users of sports drinks, protein beverages, sports nutrition supplements, and athletic bars, category sales have been increasing annually as more consumers discover the products and how they fit into their lifestyles.
For the purposes of this report, Mintel defines performance food and drinks as those products catering to the needs of athletes and active consumers. Mintel has segmented the market into two categories:
Performance food: classified as any food bars, gels, or chews consumed to fuel or enhance physical fitness or exercise, such as PowerBar, Met-Rx Protein Plus bars.
Performance drinks: defined as beverages designed specifically for athletes, such as Gatorade, Powerade, and Muscle Milk as well as powdered supplements that can be added to milk or water for extra fitness benefits, such as EAS 100% Whey and PowerBar Ironman Restore. In addition, the report provides an analysis of the sports nutrition supplement segment as defined by Nutrition Business Journal.
The following is that publication’s definition of the sports nutrition supplement segment:
Sports nutrition supplements include all pills, powders/formulas, and sports supplement drinks (excluding Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) formulated to enhance physical activity, whether it be endurance, strength, speed, or other athletic quests. Nutrition Business Journal notes that ingredients commonly found in sports nutrition supplements include creatine, amino acids, protein formulas, nitrous oxide, fat burners, ribose, beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid (HMB), androstenedione, and many others. However, leading companies and brands analysis is limited to the protein drinks subsegment of the sports nutrition supplement market.
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