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Perform Better: A Guide to Athletic & Sports Performance


The athletic and sports performance consumer continues to evolve, but one thing remains the same: nutrition plays a key role in achieving their performance goals. 

Quick Info

Title Perform Better: A Guide to Athletic & Sports Performance
Reading time 14 minutes
Published March 15, 2023


Our Athletic & Sports Performance Guide is intended to help navigate recent shifts in the sports nutrition landscape, highlight the most meaningful trends, and reveal the benefits that matter most to consumers of performance nutrition products.

This guide is for marketers and product developers in the sports nutrition space looking to develop the right products and platforms to engage consumers and support them in meeting their most important performance goals.

Content excerpts: 

We have applied insights directly from a 2022 bespoke Performance Nutrition Attitude and Usage survey of active consumers in the US & UK —those active at least 3-4 hours per week—to identify four pillars we believe are foundational for the future success of sports nutrition products. Results from the over 1,000 consumers offer a unique perspective on market opportunities for this growing demographic and represents how Glanbia Nutritionals approaches identifying category evolution through an insights-led lens. 

Overall, category awareness is high in the UK among regular exercisers, with the majority saying they understand the benefits well for products such as energy drinks, iron supplements, high protein dairy, and meal replacements. However, 42% had not heard of pump supplements, and 44% are unsure of the benefits of supplements like amino acids and glycerol, indicating an opportunity to further educate and inform.

In the US, we found category awareness and understanding to be rather low among regular exercisers, which also extended to many nutritional ingredients. Over a third had not heard of amino acids, casein, beta-alanine, taurine, MCTs, or nootropics. Even for better known ingredients such as whey protein concentrate and creatine, more than a third were unsure of what they do—again pointing to the opportunity to educate consumers on product and ingredient benefits they might find useful.

Our consumer A&U study indicates physically active consumers are goal-oriented and consider nutrition to be an essential tool. For example, 78% of US consumers told us supplements are important to achieving their goals.1 In the US, one in four says losing weight is their main goal, while about one in five wants to keep their body and mind healthy and strong, with similar rates in the UK.2

For others, the main goal is building muscle, maintaining or gaining weight, keeping a healthy body composition, or mental fitness. From these primary goals and other consumer insights, we have identified four pillars that together can support optimal health and fitness for all performance and active consumers.

Products and positioning in these key areas will help brands ensure they meet the foundational needs of today’s athletic & sports performance consumers.

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