Next-gen sports nutrition beverages
The health and wellness movement has propelled consumption of products once geared toward hardcore athletes and bodybuilders into the mainstream.
Beverages such as protein shakes and waters, electrolyte replenishers, performance boosters and weight-loss elixirs once limited to health-focused stores can be purchased at local supermarkets. Beyond accessibility to sports nutrition products, consumers are given a plethora of options for products that align with their wellness goals and diet. The ubiquity of these products has led to a great deal of innovation in the category. Sports nutrition brands are still trying to find the next “it” ingredient or ingredient combination that appeals to hardcore athletes and bodybuilders, but they are also looking to differentiate themselves by offering hyper-personalized products that appeal to a multitude of active consumers. At this year’s Expo West, brands showcased personalized products such as keto-friendly protein powders, pre-workout mixes enhanced with CBD, and clean label plant-based protein shakes.
The following is an overview on some of the top trends influencing the next generation ofsports nutrition beverages.
Clean Label products have shifted from a trend to an expectation. Although the definition of clean label is a moving target, most consumers want products with ingredients that are recognizable, naturally functional and have no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. Ingredients such as sucralose, acesulfame potassium (Ace K) and Red #40 are common in sports nutrition products, but many brands like Aloha, Protein2O, Kill Cliff and BodyLogix are launching beverages with natural flavors, colors and sweeteners.
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