World over, the demand for functional food products among athletes and sportspersons is rising to meet their targeted nutritional requirements or specific performance goals. Sports foods are increasingly becoming popular as a dietary strategy in optimizing athletes’ performance. With rapid advances made in the science and practice of sports nutrition in numerous developing and developed nations, sports foods is getting wider recognition. Sports food not only help them meet variety of needs of macronutrients and micronutrients but also enhances recovery and provides injury prevention. A swiftly swelling population, especially young adults, taking vigorous interest in sports activities of varied types, contribute to the demand for sports food. The swift pace of urbanization is also bolstering sales.

The rising number of health clubs and fitness centers has put recurrent focus on personalized dietary requirements for optimal sports performance. The changing physiological role of sports food will lead to a widespread uptake in the coming years. Teeming with opportunities, the market is projected to rise at a healthy CAGR of 6.90% from 2017 to 2022, to reach a worth of US$88.76 billion by the end of 2022, according to estimates by Transparency Market Research.

Which are attractive product segments expected to witness wide uptake?

Depending on the functions and requirements sports food meet, the key product types are protein, energy, rehydration, meal replacement, and pre-workout, apart from miscellaneous types. Of these, the protein and energy foods are expected to increasingly being demanded to meet specific dietary needs of sportspersons in various games and athletes. Protein and energy providing sports food occupies a key role in enhancing the endurance of athletes and sports people in high resistance exercises. The intake of protein as a post-exercise sports food has also gained traction in the market. The significant strides experienced by online distribution channels in a number of developing and developed nations is also reflecting positively on the growth of the sports food market.

Visually disruptive packaging for boosting the sales of sports foods is gathering steam. The market is likely to noticeably benefit from a well-defined packaging objective occupy a crucial role for vendors and manufacturers. Roar Ambition, a UK-based producer of sporting performance supplements, in January, 2018 decides to introduce sports food powders in rigid bottles resembling shotgun shell. The supplement to be used in pre-workout, comes in red outer packaging appears visually appealing and is likely to attract younger generation of fitness enthusiasts. The packaging will give the product a dedicated store shelf and help to carve out a niche space for itself in the sports food market.

Which regions are likely to present substantial lucrative prospects for vendors and manufactures of sports food?

Regionally, North America and Europe are potentially attractive markets for sports food. A swelling generation of sports enthusiasts and the widespread popularity of sports food among athletes to meet exercise target regimes is what fortify the positions of these regional markets. In particular, North America is expected to account for the dominant share of the global market. As per an estimate by TMR, the regional market will progress at an impressive CAGR of 7.70% and will collect a revenue of US$36.73 bn by the end of 2022. A rapidly evolving sports nutrition backed by innovative product launches bodes well for the regional market.

Meanwhile, the Middle East and Africa is likely to present vast promising avenues for market players. The proliferating demand for sports food in the region will ride on the back of the rising volume of exercise and fitness activities by athletes and sportspersons. Asia Pacific is also anticipated to witness substantial consumer spends on sports food, bolstering uptake in key economies.

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