Sports nutrition has endured its share of growing pains; but, for the most part, the category is now on firm footing—enjoying a time of unparalleled expansion as more consumers are drawn to active lifestyles and complementary products. In fact, the market has revealed pockets of innovation in tandem with developments in the space, from the rampant popularity of CrossFit and competition courses for the masses, to nutrition preferences such as paleo and ketogenic diets. One area with huge potential is formulations specifically geared toward female athletes.
“There was a time when sports nutrition products were marketed to a male audience with what was affectionately called a ‘knuckle dragger’ attitude,” explained Shaheen Majeed, worldwide president, Sabinsa Corp. However, he cautioned, “Women don’t necessarily respond to promises of bulking up! In recent years, brands woke up to an entire demographic they had been neglecting. Today, women have become a demography of interest in the sport nutrition marketplace. As more women across a range of ages are taking up fitness and training activities seriously, demand for supplements that meet their specific needs is rising.”
Tim Hammond, vice president of sales and marketing at Bergstrom Nutrition®, concurred. “Recognizing how nutritional needs can differ significantly between genders is an evolution within the industry that presents exciting opportunities.”
One company making the most of the white space is Twinlab. Marc Stover, vice president of sales and marketing, explained: “We are especially tuned into the female customer. We are seeing more and more women enter the sports nutrition market and increasingly see their dissatisfaction for products formulated for men. They are demanding products with the characteristics they want—and rewarding companies that deliver.”
His advice for brands looking to explore the space? “Don’t insult [women] by simply taking products and putting them in the proverbial ‘pink bottle.’ That never has worked and won’t in the future, either,” Stover asserted.
To continue reading about the evolving market for active women, download the Female Athlete Digital Magazine.