Sports supplements were originally designed for professional sportsmen and athletes. These were ergogenic supplements meant to enhance athletic performance, increase muscle mass, and provide spurts of energy when needed. However, the real force driving the industry today is adolescents and baby boomers! Enthused by a desire to live long and healthy, these baby boomers have sent the sports supplement market soaring for more than a decade. Adolescents, or the younger generation, want to build muscle, enhance their sports performance, or use sports supplements as part of their diet regimen.
This popularity is marked by a fast rise in sales every year. According to research conducted by the Nutrition Business Journal, the fastest growth in the nutritional supplement market is in specialty supplements and in the sports nutrition sector, which has a growth expectancy of 6 percent right through 2010.
Sports Nutrition Products ‘ Rising Popularity
Baby boomers were the first generation to include fitness in their daily program even beyond middle age. These people are educated, have the spending power, are aware of their nutritional needs and desire to adopt proactive measures to maintain good health. According to Forbes, the number of health clubs has tripled since 1990. This is directly related to the number of men and women, over the age of 55, joining health clubs. In 2003, 6.3 million health club members were over 55 working out what they believe is a prescription for maintaining an active lifestyle. The intensity of growth is further substantiated when you think of the fact that there is a baby boomer turning 55 every 7 seconds!
Adolescents are another group of people who increasingly enjoys sports nutrition supplements for various reasons.
The problem of being overweight has tripled since the early 1970s and today about 15% of our children between the ages of 16-19 are overweight. Statistics keep rising, with an expected 25% of overweight children by 2010. Many of these adolescents use weight loss supplements.
Thirty to forty million children participate in organized athletic activities. About sixty percent of our children participate in school sports. There is pressure to perform and many of these children use supplements to enhance muscle mass and improve their sports performance. Nutritional sports supplements offer a better alternative to steroids which are considered unsafe and carry harmful side effects.
Bars, beverages and meal replacements are the most popular sports supplements in this category. Energy drinks sensationalized by celebrities or sports stars have become lucrative prospects.
Sports Nutrition Products ‘ Rising Prospects
The nutritional sports supplement manufacturing industry maybe a small segment of the entire nutritional supplement industry, but it consists of consumers who are dedicated. Those who invest in sports nutrition supplements are making an investment towards a determined goal. It could be to enhance sports performance, or to maintain good health and an active lifestyle.
Sports nutrition products, including weight loss products, are not only sold by retailers, but many health spas, gyms, health clubs carry sports supplements. This accounts for about 42 million people. Retail stores, chain stores and departments are other additional outlets.
Sports nutrition and weight loss is therefore a big business and still booming. In spite of the economic climate this industry is showing a respectable growth. With the new GMPs in place by June 2009 for medium sized manufacturers, the supplement industry will receive an added impetus. The newly enforced quality regulations will help to build more consumer trust in nutritional supplements.