Sports drinks were once reserved for body builders and athletes, but the recent Mintel report on sports nutrition revealed a different story in the U.K. Published in the Attitudes Towards Sports Nutrition 2017 report, results showed that 3 out of 10 or 27% of Brits use sports nutrition products. The report also noted that 2 out of 5 (39%) of the UK’s population exercise more than once a week.

Men Are the Main Users of Sports Nutrition Products

Young men in Britain have the strongest affinity to sports nutrition products. Around 61% of men between 16 and 34 confessed that they use sports nutrition products and also follow a rigid exercise program. In fact, 35% of this demographic say they exercise four times a week.

While men showed a high propensity for sports nutrition products, there is also a growing demand from the females.  The study indicated that 40% of women between 16 and 34 years old consume sports nutrition products. There is also an increase of intake of protein powders among young women from 7% in 2015 to 18% in 2017.

Popular Sports Nutrition Products in the United Kingdom

The top three products according to the reports include protein bars at 11%, protein powders at 10%, and energy bars at 9%. According to Anita Winther, research analyst at Mintel, the sports nutrition industry is proliferating.  The reason for this is that people are changing their perception of beauty. In fact, even the fashion industry is embracing the mantra “strong is the new skinny” thus models are often required to have athletic and toned bodies.

The embrace of these nutrition products among Brits is good news for manufacturers. But while the demand is high for these products, 63% of consumers find it difficult to determine whether a particular product is right for them or not. 72% of the customers demand industry-wide certification to ensure the quality of the ingredients used.

sports nutrition brands united kingdom

Consumers are more critical with the types of foods that they consume, and this scrutinizing behavior extends to sports nutrition. Around 64% of the users read the ingredients list before deciding to buy a particular product while 46% avoid those that contain sugar. With this consumer behavior, the industry can benefit by revamping their products to include more natural and sugar-free products to meet the demands of people.

Current Problem

While the sports nutrition industry is growing, it is facing fierce competition from mainstream food companies that are also embracing the high-protein trend. It seems that there is an overlap between the two and that mainstream food companies are providing products that have more competitive prices and more beneficial ingredients.

The thing is that there is a booming interest in health and sports products in the United Kingdom and the broad aspect of healthy living. The trend gives manufacturers opportunities to develop new products to cater to different types of consumers.

Inspired by www.mintel.com