Keeping up with the latest and greatest in sports nutrition is a challenge for even the most dedicated of sports nutrition entrepreneurs and aficionados.
Absorbing and evaluating the potential impact of every single ingredient, development, manufacturing, packaging, and consumer trend would be a time-consuming endeavor – not to mention impossible.
For supplement brands and manufacturers looking to maximize their business’ ability to produce safe and effective supplement products capable of meeting even fractions of the needs and wants of the sports nutrition marketplace, having the ability to cut through the noise and find the updates that really matter to their business can make all the difference.
Dietary Supplements – It’s more than what’s on the inside that counts.
Fact: Okay, okay. To be fair, there is no denying that what’s actually in a sports supplements (it’s ingredients as well as the processes and procedures that were used to make it) are critically important.
Also a Fact: Being able to recognize who, exactly, is interested in learning more about or purchasing a supplement that you or your company manufactures is (also) critically important.
Consumer Demographics: The makeup of the sports nutrition marketplace is changing.
For (at least) the last decade, health and wellness industries have witnessed a major shift in the consumer base that sits at the heart of the sports nutrition marketplace.
Once reserved for serious or professional level athletes and fitness enthusiasts, a wide-spread cultural shift – specifically in the United States – has led to an incredibly diverse sports supplements and nutrition marketplace.
Driven by a variety of factors (including things like rising health care costs and improved access to knowledge and learning resources), a growing number of US consumers have made (or are making) strides towards learning more about the ways the dietary supplements may be able to help them improve existing health and wellness routines.
As a recent article from NutraIngredients-USA pointed out,
The mainstreaming of the sports nutrition sector is well documented, and brands are now actively positioned towards a particular sport and demographic. According to a 2013 report by market researcher Packaged Facts, people participating in yoga as well as those pursuing outdoor activities such as mountain biking and hiking now outnumber players of soccer, football, softball, baseball or volleyball, according to market data, and a key demographic among these is women, who are being targeted by brands such as StrongGirl from Iovate Health Sciences International.
Finding Success in Market Research and Specialization
The benefits that can come with tailoring a dietary supplement to a unique set of consumer needs isn’t an industry secret by any means. Since the turn of the millennium, the supplement industry as a whole has continued to push the boundaries when it comes to embracing the idea of “personalized” nutrition.
In the world of sports supplements, this embrace has landed us in what may very well be a golden age of “tailored for a need” sports nutrition supplements.
One of the more prevalent examples of this trend in action can be found in the reigning king of sports nutrition supplements: protein.
Trend In Action: The Protein Market
Nowadays, it seems like no matter who you are or what your needs are – if you’re in the market for a protein supplement, then chances are there’s a supplement out there that’s perfectly tailored to your needs (and on the off chance that the exact product that you’re looking for isn’t out there at the moment, there’s a very good chance that someone’s in the process of bringing it to market as we speak).
For the protein market, in particular, we’ve witnessed production diversification and specialization in a number of different ways. Some of the most popular distinguishing factors for today’s protein supplements are crafted around considerations like…
- Age (e.g. seniors, 20s & 30s, etc)
- Sex (e.g. male, female)
- Lifestyle (e.g. amateur or professional level athlete)
- Dietary Choices (e.g. vegan or vegetarian)
For brand owners looking to make the most of this increased demand for specialization, the trick lies in being able to hone in on who the target demographic for your product is and making sure that your product actually meets the needs of those consumers.