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Sport Nutrition, No Longer Just for Athletes

Sport Nutrition, No Longer Just for Athletes

It's fair to say that a lot of our clients are leisure centres and gyms where sport nutrition is fairly easy to sell. But limiting ourselves to just those venues would be giving up on other sources of revenue. Not only is vending big business in general, sport nutrition vending continues to do very well. Why? Because sport nutrition is no longer just for athletes.

When we first got started in sport nutrition, it was a niche area that appealed only to a relatively small market. The product list was small. Marketing opportunities were limited. Athletes and fitness trainers made up the bulk of our audience. But times have changed dramatically.

Now it seems like everyone is looking for healthier snacks and beverages. They are looking for sports drinks, energy bars, and snacks loaded with protein. And they're looking for these things in places other than gyms and leisure centres. As evidence, we look to a report issued by Mintel last summer.

The Category Continues to Grow

Mintel's Attitudes to Sports Nutrition, UK report was designed to measure the growth of the sport nutrition category and the reasons for that growth. The report contains a lot of surprising numbers. For example, the sport nutrition category grew by roughly 4% in 2016. Furthermore, the percentage of UK adults using sport nutrition products was up from 24% to 27%.

These numbers may not seem all that impressive to you, but there is more to understand. First is the fact that it is really difficult to pin down what actually qualifies as a sports nutrition product. There are a lot of products, like snack bars with added protein, that occupy a middle ground. Are they confections or sports nutrition products?

Second is the fact that the Mintel report only tracked sales through grocers and chemists. It did not track sales generated by health food stores, specialist retailers, and even our own vending industry. This suggests we are selling more sport nutrition products than the numbers otherwise reveal.

So if sales are up and greater numbers of people are purchasing sport nutrition products, who are these people and where are they buying from?

Say Hello to Lifestyle Buyer

Mintel's report indicates that there is a new 'lifestyle' buyer fuelling the trend toward greater sport nutrition. These buyers are not necessarily athletes or people who go to the gym five times a week. They are people who generally want to improve their health and well-being through their daily lifestyles. As proof, the report says that 23% of UK adults who exercise less than once per week still use sport nutrition products.

Here's what you need to know in short: sport nutrition is no longer just for athletes. It sells, and it sells well. If you don't yet have sport nutrition vending machines on your premises, now is the time to change that. There is an entire market out there waiting to be tapped. You can be a part of it.


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