One in four Brits use sports nutrition products

According to the latest research from Mintel, UK consumers spent £66 million on sports nutrition food and drink products in 2015, up 27% on 2013.

The research company also found that one in four (24%) Brits have consumed a sports nutrition product in the past three months.

47% of consumers who use these products do so as part of their everyday diet, with young consumers and high-earners being the core users. 42% of UK consumers aged 16-24 have used sports nutrition products in the past three months, as have 31% of those with a household income of over £50,000. These groups are also the most likely to be keen exercisers: while 50% of Brits say they exercise for 30 minutes more than once a week, this rises to 64% of those aged 16-24 and 63% of those with a household income of over £50,000.

“Used by one in four people, sports nutrition food and drink enjoys surprisingly widespread use despite its specific function as supporting sports and fitness,” says Emma Clifford, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel. “As a result, sales are booming and at the heart of this strong performance is that the appeal of these products is expanding beyond the small pool of the most elite sportspeople and gym fans. The category is increasingly attracting ‘lifestyle’ users who see these products fitting in with a healthy, active lifestyle. Fuelling the shift towards the mainstream use is the growing availability and visibility of accessible snacks and drinks from sports nutrition brands.”

The top two sports nutrition products consumed are protein based, with one in ten Brits having eaten a protein bar and the same number having consumed protein powders.

According to Mintel GNPD (Global New Products Database), it’s not only sports nutrition products that are bulking up with protein, with the number of food and drink products launched in the UK with a high-protein claim rising by 97% between 2014 and 2015 and 498% between 2010 and 2015.

Outside of sports nutrition products, 25% of UK consumers have consumed any high-protein food and drink in the past three months, rising to 35% of people who exercise at least once a week.