The French sports nutrition market increased by 3% in current value terms, to reach a value of €65 million in 2012. This current value growth rate in sports nutrition was slightly lower than in 2011.
This was predominantly 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.
The London Olympic and Paralympic games in 2012 boosted the frequency of sports activities amongst the French population.
Before this contextually-revived demand for sports-related products in July 2012, fears associated with energy drinks were high in France following a decision by ANSES (French National Agency for Security on Health, Food, Environment and Work) to place energy drinks on its nutrition alert list, due to their potential adverse health effects.
The official health alert was detrimental to sales of energy drinks, but caused sports-active consumers to move their expenditure to protein-based sports nutrition products.
Protein products remained the most popular in sports nutrition in France in 2012, with a 53% share of value sales. Ingredients commonly used in non-protein products are creatine, L-carnitine, amino acids and glutamine.
Amongst protein-based products, powder is the most popular format in France. It represents the most economical format compared with bars and RTD protein products. The use of a shaker proved to be very convenient in recent years, thereby contributing to the preference for the powder format, and keeping and bars and RTD protein products at relatively lower value shares.
Protein bars saw the highest growth rate in 2012, of 8% in current value terms. The ongoing distrust of standard weight management drugs and the preference for better eating habits resulted in the rapid adoption of softer protein-based alternatives for meal replacement, especially amongst the female population.
This shift in pattern led to an additional boost in the demand for protein bars, sales of which were also revived by the London Olympic Games.
EA Pharma led sports nutrition 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.
For more information on the French sports nutrition market, see the latest research: French Sports Nutrition Market
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