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The Analyst’s Take: 3 insights on the 2023 sports nutrition market

Article-The Analyst’s Take: 3 insights on the 2023 sports nutrition market

Claire Morton
In the newest edition of NBJ's Sports Nutrition and Weight Management Report, researchers and analysts present more data than ever from this growing market.

The Nutrition Business Journal team has packed more data than ever into this year’s Sports Nutrition and Weight Management Report: a comparison of plant-based and animal-based protein powders; a breakout of hydration and energy beverages; and new research looking at the target market of consumers who do—and do not—currently use these products.

This market is hot: With growth of 10.6% last year, sales are approaching $70 billion. Here is a sneak peak of some top takeaways:

  • Blurring lines. We have been reporting for years that the lines between Sports Nutrition and Weight Management (SNWM) product use cases have been blurring, with consumers seeking out protein powders and drinks, nutrition bars, hydration beverages and more for multiple reasons. Consumer research this year demonstrates this further, with 63% of Sports Nutrition users responding they use these products to support general health, well above the 39% who are improving their sports performance. This expanded use of products outside hardcore gym performance has been a huge driver of growth over the past decade and is only expected to continue to have an impact.
  • A story of channels. This market is an anomaly compared to other categories when we look at channels. It is dominated by the mass market (including grocery, club and convenience), with the channel representing 73.5% of sales in 2022. For context, that channel's share of the total supplement market  is 26.5%. In contrast, we see the opposite effect in e-commerce, which actually had falling market share in 2022 due to slowing growth. The market, dominated by bulky beverages, might never be a great fit for domination by the online channel.
  • Hydration station. Sports hydration beverages make up almost a quarter of all sales in the SNWM market, and have the strongest growth rate, projected to be 15.5% in 2023. This is the first year we have broken the category out from total hydration and energy, given the remarkable momentum across both hydration stick packs and RTDs in sales growth and M&A activity. The bulk of these sales fall in the mass market channel, so the category is a huge driver of overall industry success. This year’s report digs further into the consumer of hydration products—from sugar preference (hint: they don’t prefer it) to use case (hint: it’s sometimes used to support hangover recovery)—providing guiding insights on the growing market.

NBJ's Sports Nutrition and Weight Management ReportFind all the detailed data and our analyses in the full Sports Nutrition and Weight Management Report, available in the NBJ store.  

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