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Custom reports service – Sports nutrition products market – Europe

February 2019

Summary

The European sports nutrition and food products market was valued at US$6.8 billion in 2015 and is expected to keep expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% over the 2018–2025 period. The increasing availability of a large number of marketed products is one of the key trends in the growth of this market. Young consumers and high-income earners are the main users of these products, which sets the tone for consumption.

In Europe, Germany and France are two of the main markets, behind the United Kingdom and Italy. Belgium and Portugal have also seen considerable growth, with a large number of products launched over the recent years.

Use of these products has increased mainly because of consumers' growing awareness of the benefits of protein, such as increased energy, weight management and increased muscle mass and strength.

The sports nutrition market in Europe is particularly competitive and includes several companies specializing in sports nutrition such as Nu3, BioTechUSA and Foodspring.

Consumer profile

The sports nutrition market basically comprises of Generation Z consumers and Millennials. The use of sports nutrition products is much higher among younger consumers, in particular with men aged 16 to 34 years, who are more likely to be members of a gym. Moreover, according to studies conducted by Mintel, young consumers and high-income earners are the top users of sports nutrition products. There are several key factors that drive the sports nutrition market. These include the following:

In general, this market primarily targets three different types of consumers:

Bodybuilders and professional athletes
They seek to build muscle through a combination of weight training and higher caloric intake.
Recreational users
They play sports but do not reach the same levels of physical exertion as athletes and bodybuilders. These consumers play sports as a hobby on the weekend, or are fitness enthusiasts.
Healthy lifestyle consumers
Do not use sports nutrition products for sport or exercise purposes. People in this group mainly consume sports nutrition products as a healthy beverage, a quick meal replacement or simply a healthy snack. Lifestyle users are the fastest growing group of sports nutrition consumers and are becoming a crucial part of the market. These consumers want to feel that they are engaging in healthy practices by what they eat and drink, so products must be positioned as a great tasting, healthy indulgence (Euromonitor, 2018).

European market

The European sports nutrition and food products market was valued at US$2.4 billion in 2017 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% over the 2018–2025 period. A growing awareness of health among consumers, along with the expansion of distribution channels for nutraceutical products have led to increased accessibility, which should help the market to grow.

In 2018, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and France were the main markets, with a 45.3% market share in Germany and France alone. Belgium and Portugal also saw considerable growth with a large number of products launched within the recent years.

Market share of launched products of endurance/sport nutrition in selected countries, 2014-2018 (item count in %)
Country 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018[e]
Germany 1.1 8.2 12.4 17.7 27.9
France 0.9 1.7 4.1 4.2 17.4
Belgium 0.3 0.1 0.8 0.3 0.9
Portugal 0.3 0.0 0.3 0.6 1.0

Source: Mintel, 2018

e: estimated

Protein product claims

Generation Z and Millennials are becoming increasingly more concerned about the ingredients found in the products they buy. Many companies are innovating and adapting to the needs of these young consumers, forsaking artificial ingredients in favour of clear labels that are easy to understand and containing claims such as no artificial sweeteners, no artificial flavourings, no preservatives, gluten-free, certified organic or vegan.

Top 10 claims of sports nutrition products in Europe, 2014-2018 (item count in %)
Claim 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018[e]
High protein 1.1 5.1 6.1 8.8 24.3
Muscle/weight gain 0.8 4.0 7.1 7.7 13.7
Fortified with vitamins/minerals 1.6 2.7 3.4 5.1 19.8
Functional 0.6 3.7 5.9 5.9 10.1
No/low/reduced allergens 0.3 2.9 3.7 5.5 9.0
No/low/reduced sugar 1.1 1.6 2.2 4.4 11.3
Gluten free 0.3 2.0 3.1 4.5 7.5
Time/speed 0.6 1.7 3.1 3.6 6.3
No additives/preservatives 0.9 1.5 2.1 3.5 5.0
Social media 0.00 0.5 2.4 3.0 6.7

Source: Mintel, 2018

e: Estimated

Of the various claims above, a high proportion (24.3%) of the products in 2018 claimed to be "high protein." This was a more than 15.5% increase over 2017. Marketing essentially focuses on this aspect since, according to the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), the percentage of consumers looking to buy high-protein foods rose from 39% in 2006 to 53% in 2014. Two factors can explain this trend:

Furthermore, new consumers are seeking natural, alternative options (not animal-derived) to meet their physical fitness needs (Euromonitor International, 2018). However, plant-based products represent only a small share of the European market. Only 2.7% of the products developed carry a vegetarian label. (Mintel, 2018)

Fortified/functional sports drinks (ready-to-drink)

A sports beverage or drink is a non-alcoholic product that enhances physical performance during sporting activities and/or speeds recovery afterwards. The main goal of sports drinks is to help the body quickly absorb carbohydrates (Euromonitor International, 2018).

Europe represents a significant share of the global sports drink market due to the changing preferences of consumers, who have moved on from carbonated drinks to healthy beverages. The health and fitness sector in Europe grew by 3.1% in 2017 over 2015, which in turn has stimulated the instant endurance beverage market. (EuropeActive and Deloitte, 2018 (PDF))

Of all the countries in Europe, Germany has one of the largest vegetarian/vegan populations in the world, at over 9% of its total population. (Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach, 2013 (PDF, in German only)). Consumers have adapted to a diet high in plant-based proteins that are easy to digest. Germany is in the top spot for fortified/functional (FF) sports drinks, a market valued at US$348.9 million in 2017. Consequently, the German sports drink distribution market increased in volume by 13.8% from 2016 to 2017 (Mintel, 2018). Germany's CAGR is zero for the 2013-2017 period, but for the 2018-2023 forecast period, its CAGR will be 3%.

Belgium and France have had a negative CAGR in their retail value sales for FF sports drinks, at −0.2% and −1.6% respectively. Portugal is posting a positive compound annual growth rate of only 0.9%. This is due to the recent consumer interest of the Portuguese in endurance products and recent development of this market, which is still relatively small at the moment. For the 2018-2023 forecast period, Portugal will have a very significant Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.7% since volume production will have a CAGR of 2.8% for the same period. (Mintel, 2018)

Retail sales of fortified/functional sports drinks (ready-to-drink) in Europe, historic 2013-2017, in US$ millions
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Germany 349.1 352.2 345.6 343.0 348.9 0.0
Belgium 107.5 108.0 108.7 106.7 106.8 −0.2
France 26.5 27.4 25.6 25.2 24.8 −1.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Retail sales of fortified/functional sports drinks (ready-to-drink) in Europe, forecast 2018-2023, in US$ millions
Country 2018[e] 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 CAGR* % 2018-2023
Germany 356.1 363.9 373.4 385.4 398.5 412.1 3.0
Belgium 106.8 108.5 109.4 110.5 111.9 113.6 1.3
France 24.6 24.5 24.6 24.8 26.4 28.1 2.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Product launch examples of fortified/functional sports drinks

Express Vegan Protein Drink
Company La Mandorle
Brand La Mandorle Proteines 10 Quatuor Végétal
Category Other drinks
Sub-category Meal replacements and other drinks
Country France
Launch date April 2018
Launch type New product
Price in US dollars 3.07

Product description: La Mandorle Proteines 10 Quatuor contains four plant-based proteins, and 10 grams (g) of protein per 200-millilitre (ml) serving. It is sugar- and dairy-free and fortified with algae lithothamnium and naturally occurring calcium. It is particularly high in protein, which contributes to the growth and maintenance of both muscle and bone mass. This certified organic product retails in a 200-ml package. The product was presented at the Natural & Organic Products Europe Trade Show in London, United Kingdom (U.K.) in 2018.

Ingredients (on package): Spring water, plant-based protein (9.3%) (almonds, peas, rice, hemp), almond oil*, Lithothamnium calcareum from algae and carob.

Source: Mintel, 2018a

Isotonic sport drink powder – raspberry
Company Decathlon
Brand Aptonia Iso
Category Energy drinks
Sub-category Sports drinks
Country France
Store name Décathlon
Distribution type Specialist retailer
Launch date January 2014
Price in US dollars 9.31

Product description: Aptonia Iso Powder is an isotonic sports drink. This high-carbohydrate isotonic drink contains vitamins B1, B2, B6 and sodium. Its high carbohydrate and electrolyte content helps the body to absorb water during exercise. This product is designed to be used before, during and after sports and retails in a 650-g bag containing 17,500 ml servings.

Ingredients (on package): Sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin, acidifiers (E330, E331ii), sodium chloride, natural flavours, vitamins (vitamins B1, B2, B6) and colouring agent (E122).

Source: Mintel, 2018

Sports protein powders

Protein powders are currently a popular category in the sports nutrition market, accounting for 65% of total sports protein products in Western Europe. Germany ranks in the top spot with a value of US$8.0 million in 2017. On a global scale, protein powder in Europe does not get solidified, compared with the North American market.

Retail sales of protein powders in Europe, historic 2014-2017, in US$ millions
Country 2014 2015 2016 2017
Germany N/A N/A 7.9 8.0
France 2.7 2.7 2.8 3.0
Belgium 2.4 2.2 2.3 2.3

Source: Mintel, 2018

N/A: Not available

In the European market, whey protein powder is the most popular sports nutrition product, and is the main ingredient in over 50% of protein powders in Europe. However, European consumers are increasingly demanding plant-based products that fit with vegetarian/vegan diets. As such, milk and collagen proteins have declined in product launches in recent years, while plant-based proteins have risen somewhat. Soy, peas and rice are emerging sources of plant protein in this market, but soy still represents 67% of all plant-based protein products in the world (INM, 2015 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar).

Europe: top 10 protein ingredients used in protein powder products, 2014-2018, shares (item count in %)
Ingredient 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018[e]
Milk protein 27.5 19.8 13.0 19.0 23.0
Whey protein concentrate 2.5 15.5 19.0 19.7 19.5
Whey protein isolate 1.3 8.2 14.8 14.8 15.6
Soy protein isolate 0.0 13.9 12.6 9.0 11.7
Whey protein (dietary) 0.0 4.1 7.4 6.7 6.8
Calcium caseinate (dietary) 0.0 5.4 5.0 4.8 6.8
Milk protein concentrate 5.0 8.2 5.6 5.3 4.1
Soy protein 3.8 6.3 3.6 6.0 5.6
Pea protein 0.0 2.7 0.8 2.3 2.4
Rice protein 0.0 0.0 1.2 2.8 1.9

Source: Mintel. 2018

E: Estimated

Product launch examples of sport protein powders

Chocolate plant protein complex
Company Olimp Laboratories
Brand Olimp sport nutrition
Category Other drinks
Sub-category Meal replacements and other drinks
Country Germany
Store name vitafy.de
Distribution type Internet-based ordering
Launch date November 2018
Launch type New variety
Price in US dollars 22.80

Product description: Olimp Sport Nutrition Veggie Protein Complex is a dietary supplement powder that contains pea, squash seed and brown rice protein, and is sweetened with xylitol and stevia. The 100% natural formula is made from natural sugars and flavours. This mild tasting product is designed for physically active individuals with high protein intake needs, and especially vegans, vegetarians and those with an animal protein intolerance who are looking to increase their muscle mass. The product has no added sugar and retails in a 500-g package of 17 servings. It has a QR and the GMP, GLP and ISO 9001 logos.

Ingredients (on package): Mixed plant proteins (82%) (pea, brown rice, and pumpkin seed protein), sweetener (xylitol), low-fat cocoa powder, fructooligosaccharides, flavours, thickener (xanthan gum) and sweetener (steviol glycosides).

Source: Mintel, 2018

Strawberry vegan protein 3K
Company Nu3
Brand Nu3 Pure Berlin Power
Category Other drinks
Sub-category Meal replacements
Country Germany
Import status Not imported
Store name nu3
Distribution type Internet-based ordering
Launch date August 2018
Launch type New variety
Price in US dollars 23.13

Product description: Nu3 Pure Berlin Power Veganes Eiweisskonzentrat (Strawberry Vegan Protein 3K) contains 70% protein to help build and maintain muscle mass. The product contains sweeteners but has no added aspartame or sugar. It is designed to be used before and after a workout and has a chemical score of 137. This product retails in a 1,000-g pack.

Ingredients (on package): Pea protein isolate (80%), natural flavour, hemp protein powder (5%), rice protein concentrate (5%), food colouring (contains beet powder), carob germ protein (0.8%), anti-caking agent (tricalcium phosphate), sea salt, sweetener (steviol glycosides, sucralose), acidifying agent (tartaric acid l(+)).

Source: Mintel, 2018

Fortified/functional energy bars

The European FF energy bar market is expected to reach US$689 million by 2023, with a CAGR of 4.7% during the 2018-2023 forecast period. European energy bar volume sales are expected to witness a high CAGR of 3.1% during the 2018-2023 forecast period. The FF energy bar is still a niche category in Europe, which accounts for only 14% of snack bar sales.

France, Germany, Belgium and Portugal are the most significant markets in Europe, behind the UK, owing to a strong preference for healthy snacks. The growing demand for snack food, meal replacements and take-home snacks has contributed to the growth of the FF energy bar market. The French market accounted for US$32.7 million in 2017, an increase of US$5.3 million since 2013. However, Germany had the strongest CAGR for the same period. This reflects the desire and preferences of German consumers for take-home products and snacks.

Retail sales of fortified/functional energy bars in Europe, historic 2018-2023, in US$ millions
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
France 27.4 28.0 29.3 30.9 32.7 4.6
Germany 13.3 13.8 14.3 17.9 19.0 8.3
Belgium 11.2 11.4 11.7 11.9 12.0 1.7
Portugal 4.0 4.2 4.3 4.5 4.8 4.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Retail sales of fortified/functional energy bars in Europe, forecast 2018-2023, in US$ millions
Country 2018[e] 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 CAGR* % 2018-2023
France 34.2 35.7 37.3 38.8 40.5 42.3 4.3
Germany 19.8 20.8 21.8 22.6 23.3 24.0 3.9
Belgium 12.0 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.4 12.4 0.6
Portugal 5.1 5.4 5.9 6.3 6.7 7.0 6.8

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Supermarkets and hypermarkets lead FF energy bar sales, with an over 50% share of distribution. Online retail sales in Germany saw rapid growth of 7% in the 2012–2017 period. France is the top FF energy bar online retail channel in Europe.

Product launch examples of fortified/functional energy bars

Crispy stracciatella flavoured protein bar
Company DM Drogerie Markt
Brand DM Sportness
Category Snack
Sub-category Energy bars
Country Germany
Import status Imported product
Store name dm-drogerie markt
Distribution type Pharmacy / health and beauty retailer
Launch date November 2018
Launch type New product
Price in US dollars 1.08

Product description: DM Sportness Riegel mit Eiweiß Crispy-Stracciatella-Geschmack (Crispy Stracciatella Flavoured Protein Bar) is a maltitol chocolate-covered bar that is low in sugar and contains 50% protein. The sweetened product retails in a 45-g pack.

Ingredients (on package): Milk proteins (calcium caseinate, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate), gelatin hydrolyzate, maltitol chocolate coating with sweetener (15.6%) (cocoa mass, sweetener (maltitol), cocoa butter, milk fat, emulsifier (soy lecithin), ground vanilla pods), humectant (glycerin), soy protein chips (5.5%) (soy protein, lean cocoa, tapioca starch), cocoa butter, cacao beans (1.6%), flavourings (containing milk), lean cocoa, soybean oil, palm oil, table salt, cocoa paste, sweetener (maltitol), stabilizer (arabic gum), emulsifier (soy lecithin), sunflower oil, sweetener (sucralose), ground vanilla bean pod and colouring agent (beta carotene).

Source: Mintel, 2018

Chocolate protein bar
Company Clif Bar & Company
Brand Clif Builder's
Category Snack
Sub-category Energy bars
Country Germany
Store name GALERIA Kaufhof
Distribution type Department store
Launch date October 2018
Launch type New product
Price in US dollars 3.51

Product description: The Clif Builder's Chocolate Protein Bar is described as a great-tasting protein bar that makes every ingredient count. This low-glycemic product is certified Kosher and contributes to muscle recovery by delivering 20 g of protein to help build muscle mass. It has no GMO ingredients, contains essential amino acids to help build and repair muscle, and carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen reserves after a workout. It is sold in a 68-g pack bearing the Clif Bar Family Foundation logo. This product is the official protein bar of the Spartiate Race.

Ingredients (on package): Soy protein isolate, beet syrup, organic brown rice syrup, organic cane sugar, palm kernel oil, cocoa, unsweetened chocolate, organic soy protein concentrate, plant glycerin, organic oat flakes, natural flavouring, rice starch, organic oat fibre, organic high oleic acid sunflower oil, organic sunflower oil, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, salt, vitamins and minerals (calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), beta carotene (vitamin A), niacinamide (vitamin B3), calcium pantothenate D (vitamin B5), riboflavin (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), cyanobalamin (vitamin B12) and potassium iodine.

Source: Mintel, 2018

Competitive landscape in the European marketFootnote 1

Top 10 European companies in the sports nutrition sector, 2014-2018, shares (item count in %)
Company 2015 2016 2017 2018[e]
Nu3 0.1 0.4 0.0 2.6
BioTechUSA 0.0 1.5 1.1 0.3
Foodspring 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.7
Nutrition & Santé SAS 0.1 0.1 0.3 2.2
Olimp Laboratories 0.4 0.9 0.1 1.0
Netquattro 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1
Scitec Nutrition 0.0 0.6 0.6 0.9
Active Nutrition International 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.4
Prozis 0.0 0.5 0.3 1.1
Decathlon 0.1 0.0 0.1 1.6

Source: Mintel, 2018

e: Estimated

German competition

In the German market, Hut.com is the sports nutrition leader. As a growing number of consumers are increasingly interested in sports and getting in shape, Hut.com and its Myprotein brand had strong growth in 2018 sales, reinforcing its leader status. As health, nutrition and sports are increasingly becoming intertwined in the lives of German consumers, sports nutrition has gone from being simply associated with weightlifting to a widely popular product. This is reflected in the emergence of new players like Foodspring, which focuses not only on natural and certified organic sports nutrition products but also on conveying a different brand image that focuses more on health and wellness than traditional players.

Belgian competition

QNT is the Belgian sports nutrition market leader and continues to show growth as it markets new products. Much of this company's production is focused in the Flanders region, and it has an exclusive partnership with the Basic Fit chain of sports clubs.In 2018, the Décathlon chain of the French distribution group chose QNT and its private labels Aptonia and Isostar for its FF energy drinks and energy bars.

French competition

The sports nutrition market in France is particularly competitive and includes several companies specializing in sports nutrition such as Nutrition & Santé (Isostar), Diété Sport France (Overstim.s), pharmaceutical companies such as EA Pharma (Eafit) and LND SA (Apurna).

Portuguese competition

In Portugal, Gold Nutrition is virtually the only company to have a share of the sports nutrition market. What makes this brand special is that it is Portuguese and has a strong reputation and loyalty among consumers. It is intensifying its distribution through diversification. For example, in addition to specialty stores, health food stores, gyms and online retailers, the company recently entered the food e-commerce business to focus on its consumer profile.

Conclusion

To appeal to consumers, sports/performance nutrition companies continue to innovate in their marketing and products to deliver products with high expectations. Europe will continue to see lucrative opportunities in this sector due to increasing levels of obesity and a growing geriatric population in the region.

Definitions

Euromonitor

Fortified/functional sports drinks
This category includes fortified/functional products. In identifying fortified/functional products, we focus on products that have added health ingredients and/or nutrients. To be included here, the enhancement must be emphasized on the label or make a health/nutrition claim. Fortified/functional foods and beverages provide health benefits beyond their nutritional value and/or the amount of added ingredients not normally found in this product. To qualify for inclusion in this category, the criterion is that the product must have been actively fortified/enhanced during production. Thus, inherently healthy products such as 100% pure fruit and vegetable juices are not included under "fortified/functional" unless other healthy ingredients (for example, calcium, Omega-3) have been added. To be included, the health benefit must be part of the product positioning or marketing.
Fortified/functional energy bars
This category includes fortified/functional products. In identifying fortified/functional products, we focus on products that have added health ingredients and/or nutrients. To be included here, the enhancement must be emphasized on the label or make a health/nutrition claim. Fortified/functional foods and beverages provide health benefits beyond their nutritional value and/or the amount of added ingredients not normally found in this product. To qualify for inclusion in this category, the criterion is that the product must have been actively fortified/enhanced during production. Thus, inherently healthy products such as 100% pure fruit and vegetable juices are not included under "fortified/functional" unless other healthy ingredients (for example, calcium, Omega-3) have been added. To be included, the health benefit must be part of the product positioning or marketing.

Mintel

Sports protein powders
Sports drinks are designed to replace energy and minerals lost during exercise, and drinks are in powder form. Protein powder necessarily includes a protein value.

Resources

Custom reports service – Sports nutrition products market – Europe
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Nesrine Benmoussa, Co-op Student

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