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2023 MegaTrends Part Three: Personalized Performance

This MegaTrend shows how athletes are driving personalization. Here’s a look at their diverse needs, innovations in wearables, and the next-gen athlete.

2023 MegaTrends for Food and Beverage

In our 2023 MegaTrends series, we've explored how consumers are seeking “Eatopia”—holistic wellness through foods—and refocusing on their health with a fresh perspective, including new ways of eating and prioritizing mental health. In Part 3, we take a look back at the Personalized Performance MegaTrend.

While personalization is nothing new, what we’re seeing now is that performance consumers are driving advancements in the space. This is a group that’s looking for an edge and has a strong interest in personalized solutions that can help them achieve their goals—even if it's winning in eSports. Understanding these MegaTrends provide food and beverage companies valuable insights to guide marketing approaches and new products.

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No One-Size-Fits-All Athletes

The stratification of athletes has been underway for a while, but now their diverse needs are starting to make a real impact on the industry in terms of available products. For some performance consumers, losing or maintaining weight is a goal, while for others, it’s gaining weight and building muscle. The focus might be strength or endurance or mental focus.  

Source: Glanbia Nutritionals, Performance Nutrition Survey, June 2022, N=501 US consumers & 502 UK consumers  who exercise at least 3-4 hours a week

The personalized nutrition products out there now targeting athletes are largely based on the survey format. But innovative wearables and measurables are going to expand opportunities in a big way, as consumers will have access to real-time data about their nutrition needs. We expect to see this kind of precision personalization optimized within the next decade.

Wearables and Measurables

One major player in the sports nutrition space that’s seizing the opportunity in wearables and measurables is Gatorade. In 2020, Gatorade rolled out its sweat patch technology, a tool that monitors hydration status, to professional soccer players. Now, the patch and accompanying Smart Gx Bottle are available to the everyday athlete for a fairly reasonable price.

The sweat patch measures the user’s sweat profile—including fluid loss, sodium loss, and sweat rate—and provides personalized hydration recommendations through an app. The user can then add a “formula pod” to the Smart Gx Bottle, top it off with water, and rehydrate precisely as needed.

Next Gen Athletes

In considering the athletes of the future, we see still more opportunities for personalized performance. As eSports continues to grow, for example, market analysts such as Nutrition Integrated are sharing much more sophisticated research around the needs of gamers. As with any sport, the performance model can be applied to gamers, whose top needs include visual processing speed, energy, and reaction time. 

Download our eSports Nutrition Guide to learn how nutrition can support gamers' needs.

Another aspect that will impact personalized performance products in sports nutrition is the concept of gender fluidity, particularly among younger consumers. In the US, 41% of Gen Z identify as neutral on the spectrum of masculinity and femininity.1 Brands will have to get creative around gender personalization to make sure their products connect with their target consumers.

The Future of Sports Nutrition

The Personalized Performance MegaTrend points to an exciting time ahead for the sports nutrition category. Bringing together technologies like wearables with the latest in consumer data and nutrition science will help us meet the needs of today and tomorrow.

Contact Glanbia Nutritionals to learn about personalizing your products with a custom premix of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and more.


1. Vice News: The Vice Guide to 2030: Identity, 2020.

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