The sports nutrition market has become more mainstream, whilst dedicated gym goers and sports people may have seen products as purely functional, everyday consumers want sports nutrition products that they can easily incorporate into everyday routines. Consumers are taking a more proactive, holistic and long-term approach to health. This means that there is a significant opportunity for brands of nutritious, “better-for-you” products to target these consumers. So, is the everyday consumer actively looking for sports nutrition products?

What is Active Nutrition?

Active Nutrition is an evolution of sports nutrition. These consumers are the everyday sports nutrition users who are turning to sports nutrition products as a “better-for-you” option compared to “traditional” beverages, food, and snacks. However, they may lack some awareness in ingredients and place strong importance on sports nutrition products offering sensory appeal.

FMCG Gurus consumer insights show that across the globe, the majority of consumers have used a sports nutrition product in the last six months. This is highlighted as only 5% of consumers have not purchased a sports nutrition product in the last 12 months. FMCG Gurus insights show that some of the top products consumed are; Sports drinks (59%), Energy bars (54%), and Milk protein drinks (53%).

FMCG Gurus research shows that across the globe, consumers are turning to sports drinks and energy boosting drinks and bars. This shows that the demand for sports nutrition products is not necessarily driven by consumers who are looking to incorporate products into workout routines but instead, consumers who want products that can help get them through the day.

Why are the everyday consumers looking at sports nutrition products?

Consumers are making a proactive change to their lifestyles in order to improve their health. FMCG Gurus consumer insights show that 61% have looked to improve their overall health in the last two years. One of the main reasons why consumers are taking this proactive approach to changing their diets and health is that they now understand that all aspects of health are interlinked. This highlights that consumers are taking a holistic health approach to their lifestyles.

FMCG Gurus consumer research highlights this as it shows on average 43% of consumers across six areas of our healthy ageing range (cognitive, digestive, heart, immune, joint, and skin health) did not state that they are satisfied with the following aspects of their health.

This proactive approach to health has led to many changes in consumer snacking habits. Consumer insights show that, globally, 51% say they have changed their snacking habits from traditional products like chocolate to high protein and low sugar alternatives. One of the key market drivers for this is that consumers feel like they are very time scarce often feeling as if they need an energy boost throughout the day. FMCG Gurus research shows that 61% of global consumer say they are interested in grocery products that keep them constantly energized throughout the day. This is also highlighted as 63% say they are interested in grocery products that contain a “natural” energy boost.


The number of consumers who are actively looking at functional and nutritious products is rising. This market trend is being driven by consumers taking a holistic health approach, improving all areas including their diets. This has created an opportunity for brands to target these consumers with high protein and low sugar snacking options which offer an energy boost throughout the day. Irrespective of the health concerns that consumers have, they still continue to prioritize moments of indulgence for reward and escapism purposes. Therefore, products must offer a conveniently nutritious message, offering a functional benefit with no compromise on taste.

This article is based on our FMCG Gurus: Sports Nutrition vs Active Nutrition – Global 2020 Report