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Sports Nutritionals Market in the U.S.: Sports Drinks and Nutrition Bars

Sports Nutritionals Market in the U.S.: Sports Drinks and Nutrition Bars

Driven by 77 million users of sports drinks and powered by 28 million consumers of nutrition bars, the sports nutritional market has experienced encouraging growth in recent years.  The new Packaged Facts report identifies trends influencing the sports nutritional market, highlights key market opportunities, and drills down into factors affecting the retail sales growth of nutrition bars and sports drinks through 2017, effectively analyzing the competitive positions of key players in the market and highlighting marketing and new product trends.

The report uncovers a number of developments creating both challenges and opportunities for marketers.  For example, the report pinpoints the vast demographic and attitudinal differences between those who are high-volume users of sports drinks and those who eat relatively large quantities of nutrition bars.  Only 45% of those eating at least one nutrition bar in the last 30 days are men, while 55% are women.  Female consumers of nutrition bars outnumber their male counterparts 15.2 million to 12.4 million and offer a major opportunity for nutrition bars as well as other sports nutritionals geared especially for women.

In sharp contrast, men account for 64% of high-volume users of sports drink; young men are most likely to use sports drinks.  Yet, marketers need to consider the population of males under the age of 25, their most prized marketing target, will decline over the next decade as the aging of America begins to accelerate.

The report also shows how consumers pursuing individual sports and fitness activities, rather than team sport players, are the key to success in the retail sports nutritional market.  When it comes to targeting consumers of large quantities of sports nutritional products, 6.3 million fitness walkers comprise the single largest and most attractive market segment.  Those taking yoga classes (1.3 million) as well as those pursuing outdoor activities such as mountain biking (1.5 million) and camping and backpacking (1.2 million each) are more numerous than soccer, football, softball, baseball or volleyball players.

Market Definition


The market for sports nutritionals includes sports drinks and nutrition bars, as well as product categories such as protein and weight gain powders, pre- and post-workout supplements, and energy gels.  This Packaged Facts report focuses on the market for sports drinks and nutrition bars.

The report defines the market for sports drinks and nutrition bars on the basis of product segments provided by IRI InfoScan Reviews, which tracks sales through U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores, drugstores, and mass merchandisers (including Target and Kmart but excluding Wal-Mart) with annual sales of $2 million or more.

The nutrition bar category includes bars that may also be referred to as energy bars, diet bars and sports bars.  SymphonyIRI tracks nutrition bars in the category called “nutritional/intrinsic health value” bars.

Methodology



The first source of primary data used in this report is IRI InfoScan Reviews as described above.  The second is the Fall 2012 Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS), which was fielded between October 2011 and November 2012.  Simmons National Consumer Survey (NCS) covers nutrition bars in the category called “energy/diet snacks/bars.” For the sake of clarity and consistency, the tables in this report using Simmons NCS data refer to “nutrition bars”.

The report is also based upon data collected from a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers, magazines, consumer blogs, annual reports, 10Ks, and other releases from public companies.


  • Executive Summary
    • Market Definition
    • Methodology
    • Market Overview
      • Sports Drinks
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Sports Drinks, 2007-2012 (in million $)
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Sports Drinks, 2012-2017 (in million $)
      • Nutrition Bars
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Nutrition Bars, 2007-2012 (in million $)
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Nutrition Bars, 2012-2017 (in million $)
    • Insights and Opportunities
      • Sports Nutritional Marketers Seek Balance between Extreme Athletes and Recreational Users
      • Consumers of Sports Drinks and Nutrition Bars Live in Two Different Worlds
      • Individual Fitness Buffs Generate Sports Nutrition Market Opportunities
      • Aging of America Will Create Challenges-and Opportunities-for Sports Nutritional Marketers
      • Women Important Target for Sports Nutritional Marketers
      • Younger Men Remain Key to Succeeding in Sports Drink Market
    • Sports Drink Market Trends
      • Sports Drink Market Dominated by PepsiCo's Gatorade and Coca-Cola's Powerade
      • Powerade Shows More Consistent Growth than Gatorade
      • New Water Enhancers Poach on Sports Drink Mix Category
      • "Natural" Ingredients Highlighted in Many New Products
      • Sports Drinks Appeal Most to Team Sports Participants, but Fitness Activities and Individual Sports Have Highest Numbers of Sports Drinks Users
      • Men More Likely to Use Sports Drinks but Women Still Matter in Sports Drink Market
      • Sports Drinks Appeal to Multicultural Consumers
    • Nutrition Bar Market Trends
      • Clif Bar & Co. Leads the Pack
      • Clif Bar Succeeds with Socially Conscious Strategy
      • NBTY Boosts Market Share with Purchase of Balance Bar
      • Fiber One Top Seller among New Products
      • Nutrition Bars Appeal to Fitness Buffs
      • Dieting Part of Nutrition Bar Culture
      • Women More Likely to Eat Nutrition Bars
      • 25- to 44-Year-Olds a Demographic Sweet Spot for Marketers of Nutrition Bars
  • Insights and Opportunities
    • Topline Insights
      • Sports Nutritional Market Continues Upswing
        • Table Dollar Sales of Sports Nutrition Products by GNC and Vitamin Shoppe, 2010-2012 (in million$)
      • Participation in Individual Fitness Activities and Outdoor Activities Grows Faster than Team Sports Involvement
        • Table Trends in Participation in Physical Fitness Programs and Sports, 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
      • Convenience and Customization Trend Upward in Sports Nutritional Market
      • Sports Nutritional Marketers Seek Balance between Extreme Athletes and Recreational Users
        • Table Primary Marketing Focus of Leading Sports Nutritional Marketers
      • Boundaries of Sports Drink Market Blur
      • Consumers of Sports Drinks and Nutrition Bars Live in Two Different Worlds
        • Table Demographic Profile, Consumers of Five or More Sports Drinks vs. Consumers of Three or More Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days
    • Market Opportunities
      • Individual Fitness Buffs Generate Sports Nutritional Market Opportunities
        • Table Number of Consumers Using 5+ Sports Drinks and 3+ Nutrition Bars and 7+ Cans Nutritional Supplements in Last 30 Days by Type of Sport/Fitness Activity (in thousands)
        • Table Demographic Profile of Consumers Using 5+ Sports Drinks and 3+ Nutrition Bars and 7+ Cans Nutritional Supplements in Last 30 Days
      • Aging of America Will Create Challenges-and Opportunities-for Sports Nutritional Marketers
        • Table Projected Changes in U.S. Population by Age Group, 2011 vs. 2020 (in thousands)
      • Women Important Target for Sports Nutritional Marketers
      • For Now, Younger Men Still Key to Succeeding in Sports Drink Market
        • Table 18- to 34-Year-Old Men as Percent of Those Using Five or More Sports Drinks in Last 30 Days by Race and Hispanic Origin (in thousands)
        • Table 18- to 49-Year-Old Men as Percent of Those Using Five or More Sports Drinks in Last 30 Days by Race and Hispanic Origin (in thousands)
      • Young C-Store Habitués Especially Important to Sports Drink Marketers
        • Table Convenience Store Shopping by Users of Sports Drinks
        • Table Demographic Profile of Consumers Using Five or More Sports Drinks and Making 10 or More Convenience Store Visits in Last 30 Days
      • New Media Effective in Sports Nutritional Market
        • Table Involvement in Social Media by High-Volume Consumers of Sports Drinks and Nutrition Bars
      • Traditional Media Remain Important
        • Table Attitudes toward Magazines of High-Volume Consumers of Sports Drinks and Nutrition Bars
      • Environmentally-Conscious Marketing Appeals More to Nutrition Bar Users
        • Table Attitudes toward the Environment of High-Volume Consumers of Sports Drinks and Nutrition Bars
  • Sports Drinks
    • Overview
      • Sports Drinks Have Fabled History
      • Traditional Sports Drinks Morph into Something Else
    • Historical Sales Trends
      • More than 76 Million Consumers Actively Use Sports Drinks
        • Table Number of Consumers Using Sports Drinks in Last 30 Days by Number of Drinks (in thousands)
      • Volume Consumption of Sports Drinks Tepid Over Past Five Years as Casual Use Increases
        • Table Number of Sports Drinks Used in Last 30 Days, 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
      • Market for Sports Drinks on the Rebound
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Sports Drinks, 2007-2012 (in million $)
      • Non-Aseptic Sports Drinks Dominate
      • Convenience Stores Key Channel in Sports Drink Market
      • Mass-Market Sales Show Modest Year-over-Year Uptick
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Sports Drinks by Leading Marketers and Brands by Type of Sports Drink, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Sports Drinks by Volume Growth by Type of Sports Drink, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousands)
    • Projected Market Growth
      • Health and Fitness Craze Will Benefit Sports Drink Marketers
        • Table Number of Adults Agreeing "I Make Sure I Exercise Regularly," 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
        • Table Number of Adults Participating in Physical Fitness Programs by Number of Times per Week, 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
      • Innovation and Competition Will Continue to Spark Growth in Sports Drink Market
      • Dip in Youth Population Will Affect Sports Drink Market
        • Table Projected Changes in U.S. Population by Age Group, 2011 vs.2015 (in thousands)
        • Table Projected Changes in U.S. Population by Age Group, 2015-2020 (in thousands)
      • Drop in Popularity of Team Sports Will Have Impact
      • Health Concerns Raise Obstacles
      • New Government Regulations Will Limit In-School Sales of Many Sports Drinks
      • Sports Drink Market Will Experience Moderate Growth through 2017
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Sports Drinks, 2012-2017 (in million $)
    • The Competitors
      • Beverage Behemoths Contest Sports Drinks Market
      • Sports Drink Market Dominated by PepsiCo's Gatorade and Coca-Cola's Powerade
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Sports Drinks by Leading Marketers and Brands by Type of Sports Drink, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • PepsiCo Stays the Course with Revised Gatorade Strategy
      • Powerade Shows More Consistent Growth than Gatorade
      • Brands of Market Leaders Show Mixed Results in Mass Market
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Sports Drinks by Leading Marketers and Brands, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Gatorade Stumbles with "G Series Fit" Product Line
      • Gatorade Has More Appeal to Affluent Consumers
        • Table Demographic Profile of Gatorade and Powerade Users
      • Growth in Dollar Sales of Private Label Sports Drinks Beats the Average
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Sports Drinks by Private Labels, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • From Pickle Juice to Coconut Water: Other Products Chip Away at Traditional Sports Drinks
      • Protein-Enhanced Drinks Muscle In on Sports Drink Market
      • BODYARMOR Makes an Impact
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • Powerade Uses "Nameonics" to "Power Through" 2012 Olympics and Beyond
      • Gatorade Returns to Its (Grass) roots in 2013
      • New Water Enhancers Poach on Sports Drink Mix Category
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Sports Drink Mixes by Leading Marketers and Brands, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • CytoSport Ties in with Major League Baseball
      • Kill Cliff Recovery Drink Targets Only the Fittest, Others Focus on the Average Joe
      • GNC Launches New Line of Branded Drinks
      • "Natural" Ingredients Highlighted in Many New Products
    • Consumer Trends
      • Sports Drinks Appeal Most to Team Sports Participants
        • Table Percent of Sports/Physical Fitness Program Participants Using at Least One Sports Drink in Last 30 Days by Type of Sport (in thousands)
      • Team Athletes Also Most Likely to Use High Volumes of Sports Drinks
        • Table Percent of Sports/Physical Fitness Program Participants Using Five or More Sports Drinks in Last 30 Days by Type of Activity (in thousands)
      • Fitness Activities and Individual Sports Have Highest Numbers of Sports Drinks Users
        • Table Number of Sports/Physical Fitness Program Participants Using at Least One Sports Drink in Last 30 Days by Type of Activity (in thousands)
        • Table Number and Percent of Sports/Physical Fitness Participants Using Five or More Sports Drinks in Last 30 Days by Type of Activity (in thousands)
      • Men More Likely to Use Sports Drinks but Women Still Matter in Sports Drink Market
        • Table Number of Adults Using at Least One Sports Drink in Last 30 Days by Gender and Age (in thousands)
        • Table Number of Adults Using Five or More Sports Drinks in Last 30 Days by Gender and Age (in thousands)
      • Sports Drinks Appeal to Multicultural Consumers
        • Table Demographic Profile of Consumers Using At Least One vs. Five or More Sports Drinks in Last 30 Days
      • Media Consumption Patterns of Sports Drink Users Provide Important Clues for Marketers
        • Table Favorite Cable TV Services of Consumers Using Five or More Sports Drinks in Last 30 days
        • Table Favorite Magazines of Consumers Using Five or More Sports Drinks in Last 30 Days
  • Nutrition Bars
    • Overview
    • Historical Sales Trends
      • Fans of Nutrition Bars Total 28 Million
        • Table Number and Percent of Consumers Eating at Least One Nutrition Bar in Last 30 Days, 2007-2012 (in thousands)
      • Trend Analysis Shows Uneven Growth in Consumer Interest in Nutrition Bars
        • Table Trends in Number of Consumers Eating at Least One Nutrition Bar in Last 30 Days, 2007-2012 (in thousands)
      • High-Volume Consumers Shore Up Market for Nutrition Bars
        • Table Number of Consumers Eating at Least One Nutrition Bar by Number of Bars in Last 30 Days (in thousands)
        • Table Number of Consumers Eating Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days by Number of Bars Consumed, 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
        • Table Number of Nutrition Bars Consumed in Last 30 Days by Volume of Consumption, 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
        • Table Number of Nutrition Bars Consumed in Last 30 Days, 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
      • Total U.S. Retail Sales of Nutrition Bars Experienced Improved Growth in Past Three Years
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Nutrition Bars, 2007-2012 (in million $)
      • Retail Channels Analyzed
      • Mass Market for Nutrition Bars Shows Healthy Year-over-Year Growth
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bars, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
    • Projected Market Growth
      • Growth in Number of Fitness Buffs Outpaces Population Growth
        • Table Number of Adults Participating in Physical Fitness Programs vs. Adult Population, 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
      • Changes in Snacking Habits Support Growth in Nutrition Bar Market
        • Table Attitudes toward Snacking, 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
      • Demographic Trends Favor Growth in Nutrition Bar Market
        • Table Projected Changes in U.S. Population by Age Group, 2011 vs. 2015 (in thousands)
        • Table Projected Changes in U.S. Population by Age Group, 2015-2020 (in thousands)
      • Expansion of Sports Nutrition Retail Channel Boosts Market Prospects
      • Substantial Market Growth Anticipated
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Nutrition Bars, 2012-2017 (in million $)
    • The Competitors
      • Clif Bar & Co. Leads the Pack
      • Clif Bar, General Mills, NBTY and Kind LLC Boost Mass-Market Share
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bars by Leading Marketers, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Popularity of Clif Brand Soars
        • Table Trends in Use of Nutrition Bars by Brand, 2007 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
      • Nature Valley Grabs Market Share
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bars by Leading Brands and Marketers, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Fastest-Growing Brands Highlighted
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bars by Fastest-Growing Brands, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Private-Label Bars Lag Behind
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bars for 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013, Private Label vs. Other Brands (in thousand $)
      • Clif Bar Succeeds with Socially Conscious Strategy
      • Nature Valley Provides Boost to General Mills
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of General Mills Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bars by Brand, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Abbot Nutrition Plays Significant Role in Market
      • NBTY Boosts Market Share with Purchase of Balance Bar
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bars by NBTY Inc. Before and After Acquisition of Balance Bar, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • CLIF Kid Promotes Healthy Active Lifestyles for Kids
      • Balance Bar Helps Athletes and Sports Enthusiasts "Find their Balance"
      • KIND Works to Make the World a Little Kinder
      • Forward Foods Launches "Detour for Good" Program
      • Fiber One Top Seller among New Products
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of New Products in Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bars Category by Leading Brands and Marketers, 52 Weeks Ending April 21, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • KIND Introduces Nuts & Spices Bars
      • ZonePerfect Introduces Perfectly Simple
      • EAS Sports Nutrition Brand Releases New Products
      • CLIF Builders Debuts New 30 Gram Protein Bar
    • Consumer Trends
      • Nutrition Bars Appeal to Fitness Buffs
        • Table Sports Most Popular among Consumers Eating at Least One Nutrition Bar in Last 30 Days
      • Nutrition Bars Popular among Individual Sports Participants, Team Sports Not So Much
        • Table Percent of Sports/Physical Fitness Program Participants Eating at Least One Nutrition Bar in Last 30 Days by Type of Sport (in thousands)
      • Dieting Part of Nutrition Bar Culture
      • New Nutritional Products Appeal
        • Table Attitudes toward Nutrition of Consumers Eating Three or More Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days
      • Nutrition Bar Fans Eat All Day Long
        • Table Eating Habits of Consumers Eating Three or More Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days
      • Women More Likely to Eat Nutrition Bars
        • Table Number and Percent of Men and Women Eating Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days (in thousands)
      • 25- to 44-Year-Olds a Demographic Sweet Spot for Marketers of Nutrition Bars
        • Table Percent of Consumers Eating Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days by Age Group
      • Eating Nutrition Bars a Sign of Affluence
        • Table Percent of Consumers Eating Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days by Education, Employment Status and Household Income
      • Consumers of Nutrition Bars Mirror U.S. Diversity
        • Table Percent of Consumers Eating Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days by Race and Hispanic Origin
      • Nutrition Bars an Urban, Coastal Phenomenon
        • Table Percent of Consumers Eating Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days by Region and Place of Residence
      • Different Brands for Different Folks
        • Table Demographic Highlights of Consumers Eating Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days by Brand Eaten Most
      • High Percentage of Fitness and Women's Magazine Readers Eat Large Volume of Nutrition Bars
        • Table Favorite Magazines of Consumers Eating Five or More Nutrition Bars in Last 30 Days

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