active female

The Active US Female Consumer of Today

Active female consumers have specific needs. Food, beverage, and supplement products that offer female-focused benefits and address their lifestyles is a major opportunity. Learn about the exercise habits and perspectives on health and diet of today’s active female consumer.


  • Though many women exercise regularly, they are less performance-driven than men. 
  • Female consumers are interested in sports nutrition products with cleaner labels. 
  • Women are interested in using technology to help track their health and fitness. 
  • Female consumers are paying more attention to their mental health. 

Connecting with Today’s Active Female Consumers

With the growing trend in personalization, products targeting active females are becoming far more sophisticated. Relying on female-focused messaging and packaging is not enough. Products must address real needs of active female consumers, by considering their lifestyle habits and top health concerns.

The top trends in women’s health and nutrition include women’s greater interest in weight management and in plant-based eating, for example. Addressing differences such as these can help a product resonate with female consumers and build trust in the brand.

More Casual Exercise Habits

Among today’s active females, 38% exercise regularly but don’t consider themselves to be athletes, according to research by Mintel.1 Thirty-four percent exercise but not regularly (vs. 24% of males),2 indicating a more casual approach to exercise. 

For active females who do exercise regularly, only 9% think of themselves as athletes compared to 23% of males.3 This indicates most are less performance-driven than males, although there is a set that are just as committed. Active females are more likely to do most of their workouts at home (49%), compared to males (38%).4

mom and daughter doing yoga

Seeking Cleaner Label Sports Beverages

When it comes to choosing sports, performance, or protein drinks to support their workouts, more active female consumers cite low/no sugar (48% vs. 39%) and low calorie (43% vs. 33%) as important compared to males.5 Besides a greater interest in these nutrition and weight management attributes, they’re also more likely to prefer clean label products.

Among active female consumers, 28% say "free from artificial ingredients" is important when they choose a sports beverage, compared to 22% of males.6 In addition, more females think clean label sports beverages are as effective as traditional versions.7

Using Technology to Meet Health Goals

Another intriguing insight from Mintel is the different ways females would use technology (such as wearables) to monitor their health. For example, more females than males said they would use technology to track their diet (52% vs. 45%) and hydration (53% vs. 44%).8 Besides nutrition, more females would also use technology to monitor stress (56% vs. 49%).9

When asked about other ways their health could be improved with technology, females were more likely to express an interest in using technology to stay motivated (63% vs. 46%) and keep themselves accountable (57% vs. 44%).10

mom and daughter doing yoga

Focused on Wellness - Including Mental Wellness

During the past year, more females than males suffered from stress (54% vs. 49%) and anxiety (45% vs. 36%).11 Fortunately, more attention is being paid to the importance of mental health. In the sports world, some athletes are taking their struggles public, such as tennis champion Naomi Osaka and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. 

Both athletes stepped back from competition duties to manage their stress. Prioritizing mental health in such a public way sends a clear message that mental health is an integral part of overall health. Females are more likely to look to healthy eating to help with these issues, with 82% agreeing eating healthy is important for their emotional wellbeing (vs. 73% of males).12

Formulating Active Female Products

These different tendencies in exercise, diet, and overall perspective on health all provide opportunities to develop products particularly suited for active female consumers. Choosing nutritious, clean label ingredients that help support healthy eating and a healthy weight is key to developing products they’ll love.

From proteins to bioactives to premix solutions, our nutritional ingredients, like FerriUp, can get you started. Contact us to learn more about formulating an active female product for your brand.


1-7. Mintel, Sports and Performance Drinks US February 2021.
8-10. Mintel, Healthy Technology Trends US May 2021.
11. Mintel, Managing Stress and Mental Wellbeing: Incl Impact of COVID-19 US July 2020.
12. Mintel, Better for You Eating Trends: Incl Impact of COVID-19 US November 2020.

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