Brick and mortar sales show strength for US sports nutrition and weight management products12 Apr 2023
Sports nutrition and weight management products in the US are doing what no other category in the supplement space have been able to: brick-and-mortar sales aren’t just alive and kicking, they are beating e-commerce, according to a 2023 Nutrition Business Journal report.
Sales growth for sports nutrition and weight management products in the US didn’t simply stall in e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail is actually eating into e-commerce’s market share. That’s among the more surprising findings in the 153-page report published by Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). However, but the sales trends and consumer research also suggest interesting storylines unique to the markets.
Buyers will learn that natural and specialty retail continues to lose ground, with mass market driving the sales that define success in the combined markets. Much of that is due to the channel’s dominance in the massive sports hydration and energy beverage market, which continues to show phenomenal growth, but products like pre-workout formulations that are closely associated with sports nutrition are also gaining strength in mass market retail, effectively making the leap from the supplement-only standalone stores.
That the sports nutrition and weight management markets remain a brick-and-mortar game is a stark contrast to what is seen in the overall US supplement industry. Sports nutrition and weight management, it should be noted, includes all those sports hydration and energy beverages, but it’s still remarkable that as e-commerce approaches parity with both of the brick-and-mortar channels, online sales remain a sliver of the market here.
Blurred lines between sports nutrition & weight management
Some of the categories where e-commerce shows strength are also markets that have fallen from their former glory. Online sales of weight management pills, for instance, are behind only the multi-level marketing channel, but weight management pill sales declined by double digits in 2022. Ready-to-drink (RTD) protein drinks also sell well online, but the category across all channels hasn’t seen remarkable growth since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NBJ Sports Nutrition and Weight Management report continues to evolve, for the first time breaking out protein powders by ingredient but also adding consumer research that reveals not only what target audiences are looking but also what they are using the products for.
That research illustrates just how blurred the lines between sports nutrition and weight management have become as consumers look at every category closely associated with sports as strategies for controlling their weight.
- Unlike other markets, brick-and-mortar retail outpaced e-commerce in 2022 for the Sports Nutrition and Weight Management category.
- Sixty-three percent of US sports supplement users say they have implemented sports nutrition into their regimen to improve their general health.
- Mass market retail is driving the sales that define success in the combined markets, driven by the channel’s dominance in the sports hydration and energy market.
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