A new study from Mintel has found that more Brits are using sports nutrition products, with growing demand amongst both men and women.
The study found that 27% of all Brits use such products, rising to 39% among those who exercise more than once a week. The top three sports nutrition products used by Brits are protein bars (11%), protein powders for a drink (10%), and energy bars (9%).
The biggest demand was amongst men aged 16-34 (61%), but the report also found 40% of women in the same age group use such products. Mintel found that there has been a surge in usage of protein powders among young women, with the number rising to 18% in 2017 from 7% in 2015 for women aged 16-24.
However, as many as 63% of users admit that it is difficult to tell whether a sports nutrition product is benefitting them. Meanwhile, 72% users would like to see an industry-wide certification that ensures quality of ingredients.
Mintel also found that consumers’ current scrutiny of food and drink extends to sports nutrition. Some 64% of those who eat or drink sports nutrition products say that they always read the ingredients list before buying a new product, while 46% of users avoid sports nutrition products with sugar.
Further, usage of high-protein food and drink is also strong, with 29% of Brits having eaten or drunk high-protein food or drink products in 2017, with 45% of Brits believing it is important to increase protein intake when exercising regularly and 28% saying that products with added protein are a good alternative to eating foods naturally high in protein.
But despite the popularity of these products, 48% of all Brits believe there is no need for extra protein in a balanced diet.
Finally, while 34% of consumers believe that they are healthier than they were a year ago, this is failing to filter down to exercise habits. 26% of all Brits say they never exercise, compared to 25% who said the same in 2015. Meanwhile, 13% say they exercise between two and three times a month or less, the same proportion as in 2015.