Carbery consumer research

Carbery, has conducted in-depth market research to better understand end consumer preferences in the growing sport nutrition sector. Using a series of consumer focus groups and a special online-survey focusing on bodybuilders, the research project has provided invaluable insight into the perceptions and needs of sport nutrition consumers.

As a world leading manufacturer of whey protein and flavourings to the sector, Carbery, along with its subsidiary Synergy, are now better placed to lend invaluable insights and expertise to customers striving to succeed in this competitive arena.

Focusing on body-builders, traditionally the most common users of sports supplements, Carbery’s research identified that almost 20 per cent of respondents now used sports nutrition products primarily to improve general health and wellness.

This reflects how bodybuilder’s objectives have evolved to include more long term goals. For the majority of body builder respondents, cost is a major purchasing consideration with 70 per cent of respondents highlighting this as a key factor. I

Interestingly, in relation to flavours there is a good acceptance of natural varieties among heavier users, although preferred flavours in final products tend towards traditional ones such as chocolate and vanilla. The necessity to provide products that meet nutritional requirements, taste good and offer good value for money should therefore drive NPD and EPD in the sector.

A key finding of the research showed that sports enthusiasts and lifestyle users of sports nutrition products require more information about how to benefit most from sports supplements and how they can be used to suit their own health and fitness objectives. It is also apparent within this group that the majority of respondents only use sports nutrition products after exercise and not before – highlighting a potential focus for future NPD activity. It was also found that whey protein is largely misunderstood by sports enthusiasts and lifestyle users, highlighting the need to communicate more clearly its roots, origin and ‘naturalness’ story.

Paul Donegan, Carbery Food Ingredient’s marketing manager commented: “As a leading innovator in sports nutrition, we want to ensure that we never lose sight of what consumers actually want. This research has been invaluable in confirming some of our assumptions and uncovering new constraints and opportunities for us and our customers. It is clear that more work needs to be done by the industry to highlight the naturalness of whey to encourage consumers to look out for it.

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