The entire performance nutritional supplement category grew an impressive 34% in the 52 weeks to August 13, 2023, according to new data from SPINS provided to NutraIngredients-USA.
At the forefront of the charge are hydration/electrolyte supplements, formulations dominated by ready-to-eat drinks, powders, tablets or bars. Hydration grew an eye-watering 52% to surpass $450 million in revenue, SPINS said.
One of the reasons for this growth, according to The Vitamin Shoppe’s Health and Wellness Trends Reportis that the category rejuvenates. While these functional drinks have traditionally targeted “extraordinarily active individuals such as athletes and people with health issues,” data now shows that new, younger consumers are driving the market.
Speaking at NutraIngredients-USA’s Sports & Active Nutrition Summit in February 2023, Ken Huntly, Senior Director of Merchandising, GNC, said hydration is one of those categories that has really been focused on by a handful of brands for a long time.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a lot of brand and product entries into this space focusing not just on hydration in the sense of sports nutrition, but hydration in terms of the many end uses and benefits that come with being well hydrated,” he told attendees in San Diego. “So it’s really growing exponentially in terms of the number of brands, the number of products and the end-use benefits of those products related to hydration and what they’re supposed to address.”
Top players include Bare Performance Nutrition, True Athlete, BodyTech, GHOST and Nuun. Anthony Iannello, director of brand marketing, Nuun Hydration, told Danielle Masterson of NutraIngredients-USA at Expo West that the brand stands out for its proactive positioning.
“The way we approach hydration now is a little bit different than maybe we have historically in terms of thinking about hydration proactively rather than reactively,” Iannello said.
“Hydration is an everyday need for consumers and I think it’s always been categorized as reactive or seasonal, but the reality is that hydration is vital to everyday life. And so Nuun is now trying to position hydration as a proactive choice every day, and in that way we feel it allows us to stand out in a category that’s primarily seen as reactive, you know, about replenishing or replacing or rehydrating, [whereas] Nuun is all about proactive hydration.”
Pre-workout and creatine
The second-largest subcategory within performance nutrition is pre-workout workouts, which grew nearly 34% to nearly $350 million in the 52 weeks ending Aug. 13, 2023, SPINS reported.
We should not forget that 2020 was not a good year for pre-training as gyms were closed and training habits changed during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest growth in the performance nutrition category was creatine, which posted 114% year-over-year growth for the 52 weeks ending Aug. 13, 2023. The category was worth just $23 million a year earlier and $14 million by the same point in 2021, SPINS said.
Looking at creatine from a calendar year perspective, sales in 2022 were $34 million, compared to $15 million in 2021. With more than $33 million already reported for 2023, SPINS predicts the category could reach end of December to reach almost 60 million dollars.
The creatine boom should come as no surprise as many have been talking about it for some time. It was another topic picked up earlier in the year by The Vitamin Shoppe, which noted that the much-studied supplement and longtime favorite of muscle-building athletes “has found new popularity on social media, which has brought a large base of new information. fans and users”.
“The category is attracting new demographics such as women and older consumers who use supplements to support a generally active lifestyle rather than just building muscle or going to the gym,” Muriel Gonzalez, president of The Vitamin Shoppe, told NutraIngredients-USA. . “New customers are discovering that supplements like creatine can support healthy aging and brain function while combating muscle loss in older individuals—something we celebrated on National Creatine Day on July 9.”
Sports and Active Nutrition Summit 2024
NutraIngredients-USA’s Sports & Active Nutrition Summit returns to the beautiful Hyatt Regency Mission Bay in San Diego, 12-14 February 2024.
Bringing together industry and research experts in sports and active nutrition, the Sports & Active Nutrition Summit bridges the gap between cutting-edge science, business strategy and key regulatory developments.
Topics for the 2024 event include: The evolving sports nutrition market; The Regulatory Landscape: Clouds on the Horizon or a Bright New Dawn?; Disruptive Tech – from wearables to artificial intelligence for ingredient innovation; Women’s Health; Recovery; The microbiome – a missed opportunity; and an honest look at the category’s innovative ingredients.
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