Prinova Research Reveals Split Between “mainstream” and “hardcore” Sports Nutrition Users

June 23, 2023

Prinova research has revealed wide variations in the needs of sports nutrition consumers, with those who exercise less frequently more likely to prioritise goals such as weight management and immune health. The survey also shows that more casual sports nutrition consumers are more likely to value taste and texture.


Prinova, the leading provider of bespoke premixes and blends, surveyed 1,277 European consumers of sports nutrition products. Although all were physically active, exercising at least twice a week, their preferred activities, goals, needs and purchasing habits varied significantly by activity level.


Respondents were presented with a list of 15 possible goals and asked to pick the five that were most important to them when using sports nutrition products. ​ The three most common were energy (71%), post-exercise recovery (51%) and muscle growth (48%).


However, the research suggests that the broadening of the consumer base has increased the importance of goals not normally associated with the sports nutrition category. Consumers who exercised twice a week were almost twice as likely to prioritise immune health as those who exercised daily (20% vs 11%).


The less frequent exercisers were also significantly more likely to target weight management (24% vs 16%) and digestive health (11% vs 7%), and to list taste and texture as a purchase influencer (33% compared to 22%).


Tony Gay, Technical Sales Director, Nutrition, at Prinova Europe, said: “Sports nutrition has emerged from its niche of serious athletes, resulting in a more mainstream consumer base. This research suggests that people who exercise less regularly tend to have different goals from their more ‘hardcore’ counterparts and are more likely to have needs that overlap with other categories, such as immune health and weight management. The key takeaway is that there is no ‘typical’ sports nutrition consumer, and as the market becomes more fragmented, there will be growing demand for innovative bespoke and hybrid products targeting more than one goal.”


The survey of 1,277 consumers in the UK, France, Germany Italy and Spain was carried out in April 2023. The full results will be published in a Prinova report.


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