EA Pharma led the France sports nutrition market in 2012, accounting for a 43% share of value sales. The company's historically strong brands Eafit and Supragen benefit from high quality ratings, as well as excellent merchandising coverage in fitness centres and gyms. They are often the top-of-mind products in the minds of trainers and fitness professionals, and therefore also benefit from their recommendations. Nevertheless, the impact of the ongoing economic downturn in France prompted some consumers to opt for economical substitutes, such as Decathlon's Aptonia products, thus slightly eroding the leader's value share in 2012.
The current value growth rate in sports nutrition in 2012 was slightly lower than in 2011. This was due to the prolonged restrictions on the purchasing power of the French population, which led consumers to forego the most expensive branded sports nutrition products (such as Eafit and Weider) and shift their demand to more economical private label substitutes, such as Aptonia (by Decathlon) and mass market close substitutes, such as Distriborg France's Gayelord sports bars.
Over the next five years, sports nutrition is expected to increase by a constant value CAGR of 2%. In November 2012, the French authorities began debates over the possibility of establishing a public policy for the reimbursement of sports activities, under the premise that increasing physical exercise and sport would help to promote a healthier French population and curb the costs of prescribed drugs.
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