Top trends in sports nutrition

With more and more consumers responding to healthy living and fitness trends globally, sports nutrition has become the fastest growing category within consumer health, with an estimated growth of ~8.5% between 2019 and 2024. (1)

What are some of the main trends in sports nutrition (2) and what do they mean for your collagen consumer market?

1. Widening consumer group

woman yoga - SOLUGEL

Sports nutrition will continue to grow and further expand its consumer group, encompassing more and more women into a traditionally male-dominated space, which will inevitably have an impact on the product development as a whole – from formulations (choice of “female-friendly" ingredients, flavors), to packaging and marketing positioning.

Your opportunity in the collagen consumer market: this once “niche" market, is a ​​​​​great opportunity for collagen as it offers an array of health benefits for active females who focus much more on weight management and holistic health, and less on muscle growth. Collagen is a well-known ingredient for the “bea​uty from within"​​​ market;​ moreover, it supports bon​e and joint health​​ and contributes to weight management thanks to its superior satiety effect​ compared to other proteins.

2. (C)lean label

From being a general trend across the F&B industry, (c)lean label is becoming increasingly important in sports nutrition too. According to Mintel (3), more and more active consumers are reading labels and they want less artificial and better regulated sports nutrition with less ingredients.

Your opportunity in the collagen consumer market: collagen, as a single natural ingredient free from sugar, fat, carbohydrates, and additives, is an ideal ingredient for your (c)lean label sports formulations.

3. Evidence-based formulations

With consumers becoming more and more critical about ingredients used in sports nutrition products, they are also becoming more demanding in terms of the products' efficacy –they want to use sports nutrition products with scientifically proven benefits.

Your opportunity in the collagen consumer market: collagen, as a pure protein with an array of clinically proven benefits in the domain of muscle recovery, bone and joint health, has a great opportunity in this space.

4. (Healthy) indulgence


An interesting trend emerging in sports nutrition is “indulgence". Consumers want to break from plain chocolate and vanilla flavors that are typical in sports nutrition products and seek healthy products resembling desserts, bakery, and confectionery (rocky road, pumpkin spice, etc.) with richer flavors and textures.

We believe the emergence of indulgence in sports nutrition is linked to the trend that the increasing number of active consumers follow high-protein & low-carb diets which can be very restrictive (e.g. the keto diet, which still remains popular in 2022) and having tastier, more indulgent protein snacks to compensate for “carb-cravings" is a great compromise for these consumers.

5. Novelty and convenience

prototypes - SOLUGEL - sports.

Consumer lifestyles are becoming increasingly busy and this is reflecting on product development. According to Innova Market Insights, sports products in “to-go formats" such as cold-pressed bars, dissolvable pouches, diet gels, beverages etc. will be even more popular in 2020. (4)

Your opportunity in the collagen consumer market: collagen is a versatile ingredient that can be easily formulated into a wide range of convenient, “to-go formats".

PB Leiner's latest SOLUGEL® sports collagen product concepts (sports gel and functional beverages) are some of the examples of such trendy “to-go formats". 

[1] Source: Mordor Intelligence: SPORTS NUTRITION MARKET - GROWTH, TRENDS AND FORECASTS (2019-2024)

[2] Source: Innova Market Insights, Mintel, 2019

[3] Source: Mintel: Sports, Nutrition and Performance Drinks - US - March 2019

[4] Source: Innova Market Insight, Global Sports Nutrition Report 2019

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