Following ESSNA’s first webinar, “EU vs US sports nutrition markets: How has COVID-19 impacted the sports nutrition market on both sides of the pond and how to restart?”, Claudia Mucciardi, Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs at Glanbia, gives her views, both positive and negative, on how Covid-19 will impact the industry.

Covid-19 has had a negative impact on the sports nutrition industry, with overall sales having decreased. This is likely due to consumers having to reduce or adapt their usual training regimes, as well as some purchase outlets being closed, and finally perhaps a health and financial priority elsewhere. However what we have seen is that the top sellers before continue to be the top sellers now, just that the vast majority of purchases are happening online. Protein is still king, as well as sports nutrition products which more resemble general foods. The products which been the hardest hit are performance supplements, such as pre-workouts, due to gyms being closed and modified training.

On a more positive note, this pandemic has highlighted the importance of keeping active, for both physical and mental health. Individuals who typically led very sedentary lives are now exercising. Alongside incorporating a balanced and varied diet, they could also reap the benefits of incorporating some sports nutrition products into their diet. The industry can therefore tap into these new consumers. It is important to recognise that this lull is sports nutrition sales is only temporary, and the industry will pick up again, although going forward it may need to adapt depending on consumer trends as a result of this pandemic.

ESSNA’s next webinar, ‘Looking ahead: What preferred exit strategy for the sports nutrition sector in the aftermath of Covid-19?’, will take place in the final week of June. Keep an eye out for updates and sign up links very soon!