The sports nutrition industry in Europe enjoyed a brief sigh of relief when European Union officials announced in summer 2016 they had decided not to regulate sports nutrition as its own category, but keep those products under the General Foods Law. However, the celebration was short-lived, as insiders recognized the industry now faces new questions as it figures out its future.
To engage the industry and further discussion of this new era for sports nutrition, European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) teamed up with Vitafoods Europe to offer special presentations as part of the Sports Nutrition Zone at this year’s Vitafoods, held May 9 to 1 at Palexpo in Geneva. The zone, sponsored by FrieslandCampina DMV, will feature interactive demonstrations, sampling, product showcases, infographics and informative presentations.
In the special presentation, ESSNA experts will talk about the recent regulatory developments and the future of the sports nutrition category in Europe.
“The EU’s decision followed thirteen years of hard work and has left nutrition companies free to innovate exciting new products," said Adam Carry, Ph.D., ESSNA Chair and panel member for a discussion on the Vitafoods Centre Stage. “But we face new challenges."
Carry explained the regulation covering sports nturtiion is now very broad, so there is a risk that the specific needs of athletes and active consumers will not be taken into account. “One example is sodium; it’s an essential ingredient for many athletes, but regulators could be wary of approving a claim that seems to encourage people to consume more salt," he noted. “These are major questions, and I welcome the opportunity to partner with Vitafoods Europe to help the industry tackle them."
Stuart Shotton, vice chair of ESSNA and head of nutrition and regulatory affairs at MyProtein, will also present on the Vitafoods Centre Stage in a half-day session focusing on how the new E.U. regulatory decision will affect sports nutrition businesses.
“Sports nutrition is an increasingly important focus at Vitafoods Europe," said Chris Lee, managing director, Global Health and Nutrition Network, Europe, Informa Exhibitions.
The European sports nutrition market grew more than 12 percent, according to Euromonitor International, which placed the global sports nutrition market at almost USD$12 billion.
“With a growing segment of physically active consumers recognizing the importance of nutrition to supplement what they do in the gym, it is becoming increasingly mainstream," Lee said, of sports nutrition. “Partnering with ESSNA is the ideal way for us to help visitors explore the growing opportunities in this dynamic sector."
Visitors to the Sports Nutrition Zone will also be able to obtain a copy of ESSNA’s Protein Labelling Roadmap report.
For more information, visit the Sports Nutrition Zone page at the Vitafoods Europe website.