The protein powder category on Amazon only saw decent growth over the past couple of years, despite a significant spike in sales during the early days of the pandemic in Q2 2020.
As a whole, the category grew 25% year over year from 2019 and 2020; however, most of this growth can be attributed to the pandemic spike. In fact, when comparing Q1 2019 to Q1 2020, the category’s revenue actually declined 5%. Additionally, the category saw four consecutive months of revenue decline from September to December 2020.
Chocolate and vanilla were the two best-selling flavors in 2019 and 2020, with a dominating combined market share of 70% in 2020. The chocolate-flavored products slightly underperformed the category with year-over-year growth of 22%, while the vanilla-flavored ones outperformed the category by a relatively larger margin with year-over-year growth of 36%. Unflavored products collectively accounted for 9% of the total revenue in 2020, underperforming the category with a year-over-year growth rate of 18%. Next up came the chocolate peanut butter flavor, taking 3% of market share and outperforming the category. Cookies & cream and strawberry were the other two flavors with market shares above 2%, but both underperformed the category in terms of revenue growth.
The top four best-selling sources of the protein powder products remained the same from 2019 to 2020, collectively accounting for 89% of the total revenue in 2020. Plant blend, ranked as the second best-selling protein source with a market share of 22%, outperformed the category by a comparatively large margin with year-over-year growth of 45%. Meanwhile, whey and blend (of any protein sources), ranking as the first and the third with market shares of 38% and 15%, both slightly underperformed the category; while whey isolate, the fourth best-selling protein source, slightly outperformed the category with a year-over-year rate of 26%.
This article was excerpted from the “Expanding demographics in sports nutrition” digital magazine. Click the link to access the full version, as well as a range of articles on the niche.
Dan Harari is vice president of business development for ClearCut Analytics, a retail analytics company and eCommerce services provider based in Chicago.