European sports nutrition to hit 4bn

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sports nutrition, Nutrition

The sports nutrition market in Europe is set to surpass the €4bn
mark by 2010 and is outstripping growth in North America, a report
has said.

According to 3A Business Consulting's Sports Nutrition and Ingredients 2007-2010,​ there is enormous potential for ingredient suppliers to take advantage of the expanding European market. This news shows there could not be a better time for companies to tap into the market, and pitch their products not just at professional athletes but to normal consumers who are looking to improve their diet and live a healthy lifestyle. 3A Business Consulting says: "This is a prosperous business segment moving from consumer groups of professional athletes to recreational exercisers and lifestyle users. "The market sees growth rates beyond other foods and beverages and clearly demonstrates how products following the trends of healthy lifestyle, exercise and nutrition, are combined in this area.​" The company has not yet told what they value the North American market at. Another factor 3A Business Consulting has said is a key characteristic of the market is "convenience and portability​." Indeed, other analysts concur that the sports nutrition market has seen phenomenal growth in the last five years in some countries. Mintel valued the UK 2006 market at £207 m (€301.9 m) - growth of 122.6 per cent since 2001. The market is currently dominated by drinks. 3A Business Consulting partner Karin Nielsen said: "We also believe that new functional and nutritional quality proteins, carbohydrates that regulate blood sugar levels, as well as a craving of naturalness in all foods and drinks will give the sports nutrition sector a very high business potential​." The European market for carbohydrates and sweeteners in sports nutrition is estimated at a value of €76m, growing to approximately €96m in 2010, with highest growth rates seen on complex carbohydrates and special blends. The total market on protein ingredients for sports nutrition in 2007 is estimated to represent a volume of approximately 17,000 tonnes and growing to approximately 20,000 tonnes in 2010. While the report refers to consumers as becoming a major driving force in the rise of sports nutrition, the effect of the Olympics in China next year is currently causing a lot of activity in the field. DSM, for example, announced it will use two of its ingredients for the Dutch team earlier this month as the first move in a series of innovations developed in partnership with the Dutch Olympic Committee/Dutch Sports Federation (NOC/NSF). One of the ingredients, a powdered form of PeptoPro, is aimed at helping increase endurance and aide a quick recovery after intense training. The powder means it can be added to drink to suit individual need.

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