In Germany, diversify your product portfolio through innovative positioning and target further than the traditional German gym goers
Germany is the biggest market in the European Union from a population perspective with approximately 82 million citizens. In 2017, sports nutrition in Germany increased by 8% in current value terms, to reach 251 million Euros according to Euromonitor. It is expected to reach 322.4 million Euros in 2022. Sports nutrition is no longer a niche market in Germany and sports nutrition manufacturers have managed to catch the eye of the mass market, with consumers paying closer attention to nutritional values and benefits and following global trends towards fitness and healthy lifestyles. This has increased demand for sports nutrition products and as such has had several encouraging repercussions on the market.
First of all, sports nutrition products are now not only sold online or at fitness centres and specialised shops but also widely available at supermarkets, pharmacies and other general outlets. However, specialised shops and especially online retailers remain the leading distribution channels for sports nutrition in Germany at the moment.
Secondly, sports nutrition manufacturers should consider enhancing their portfolios with new products targeting different consumer groups, especially women and fitness beginners, who are increasingly interested in sports nutrition products in Germany. Beginners are now less afraid of diving into sports nutrition and trying out new products, especially because this kind of product is now less seen as detrimental to general health. Women are also taking on the gym and moving away from weight loss towards healthier goals such as increasing their stamina or gaining muscle mass, much like in the UK. Manufacturers and exporters should also expand beyond the gym and offer the German market innovative products targeted towards specific activities such as hiking or mountain biking which are increasingly popular too. There are all sorts of popular outdoor sports that require muscle and mass gain and athletes in these disciplines now turn towards sports nutrition just like bodybuilders do. Interestingly Germany has one of the lowest fitness centre membership rates amongst European countries (with Spain having the highest), allowing room for huge developments of the sports nutrition sector outside of the traditional gym environment and into other outdoor activities as previously mentioned.
Additionally overarching health and wellness trends are influencing the sports nutrition market globally and Germany is no different. Increasing awareness of diabetes and obesity and of the dangers of sugar and fat have led consumers to seek products with reduced levels of sugar, even in product categories such as protein powders or protein ready to drink.This is both true in the UK and in Germany.
The vegan trend is also growing at pace in Germany and affecting sports nutrition. As a result vegan protein bars or vegan protein powders are seeing encouraging growth. Consumers are also putting a higher focus on lower level carbohydrates and calorie intake, with products offering low calories and carbohydrates becoming increasingly attractive.
Finally convenience within the sports nutrition field is becoming increasingly important, allowing for growth for protein ready to drink and leading to innovation in terms of packaging for consumption on-the-go, both in Germany and across Europe, as we become busier and busier. If you offer these kind of products then you should delve further into how the German market, as it could be a great place for you to enter.