Flavour and nutrients are the keys to success in sports nutrition
Lots of protein and few calories – that is the formula for fitness nutrition, which should give the body strength and provide muscles with the nutrients then need without being heavy on the stomach. And if it’s healthy, that’s even better. The market for healthy nutrition and supplements is growing, and there is a product to suit every need. Over 1,100 exhibitors were at FIBO in April, and of these, more than 200 international key players and newcomers from the field of nutrition showcased sports nutrition products tailored to specific goals. The accompanying congress also featured captivating presentations whose topics included proper nutrition for muscle injuries and the application of molecular genetics to personal nutrition planning, while professional cooks prepared fitness foods in the Cooking Area. Natural ingredients were a key trend amongst FIBO exhibitors, and protein has long since spread from shakes to such things as gummy bears, ice cream and chocolate.
Re-energising during coffee break
Be it nutritional biscuits or protein coffee for the office – athletes need a fast and easy way to nourish their muscles. According to Manuela Mählich, Marketing Manager at Weider: “Most people try to integrate this into their daily lives in the simplest way possible.” In addition to powders and bars, her company’s product range includes gluten-free, soya-fee and vegan options. “We are increasingly using natural ingredients and reducing the sugar and carbohydrate content, because people are becoming ever more aware of what’s in the food they eat.” Customers have become more critical, as these now include not only bodybuilders, but also fitness-conscious amateur athletes. “Our product range was very well received at FIBO, because the trade show has undergone the very same change. Today, it appeals not only to bodybuilders, but to everyone,” says Manuela Mählich.
Members of the general public who are interested in sports and nutrition are also the target group for Philip Kleiner’s energy-charged beverages. With eight essential amino acids, caffeine and guarana, these beverages reinvigorate tired calf muscles and restore motivation during training – the fizzy protein drink even helps to replenish the body’s protein reserves. According to essential eight’s managing director: “It has a very refreshing taste, and was conceived as an alternative to conventional protein shakes.” FIBO offers him the perfect environment to present this young brand’s products. “Everyone involved in the field of fitness is represented in Cologne – it’s the ideal opportunity to come into contact with large numbers of people.”
Stimulants that fit easily in any pocket or purse
Nadja Arbab is also taking advantage of the curiosity shown by private and trade visitors to find the right market for an innovation. “People are very interested and they are happy to try it,” says the Brand Manager at Brainfood, whose natural stimulants fit easily in any pocket or purse and are ideal for optimising mental and physical performance. Green coffee beans and matcha spark increased concentration, while the ayurvedic herb brahmi ensures that this increased energy does not simply disappear. “People are initially quite sceptical, but the trade show gives us the chance to explain how our product works and gain their trust.” Nadja Arbab believes that these red pills are perfect for today's world: “Be it at work or during sports, everyone is expected to raise their performance while processing more and more information – and everyone wants to do their very best.” These round red pills are low in calories and sugar-free, making them suitable for even the strictest nutrition regimens.
A protein chip snack
With a product range encompassing more than 400 items, Biotech’s mission is to offer the right product for any plan. Andras Toth: “Be it women who want to lose weight, men looking to gain muscle mass, or special supplements for endurance and competitive athletes, we’ve got something for everyone.” The market is moving towards greater differentiation. “Special vitamin and mineral preparations are in particularly great demand.” Yet for their full impact to unfold, individual nutritional supplements must be accompanied by the right nutrition. As Andras Toth puts it: “Taking a fat-burner while continuing to eat pizza and chocolate simply cannot work.” That is why the company relies on professional consultations that are both intensive and personal. And for those who find themselves unable to resist a snack between meals, they offer a range of bars and protein chips. Add a sugar-free fizzy drink fortified with essential amino acids and it’s time to kick back and relax on the sofa.
Sports nutrition in snack form
Sports nutrition in snack form is also a hot item at IronMaxx, where shelves are stocked not only with capsules and powders, but gummy bears and chocolate spreads as well – naturally in versions with no sugar, few calories and lots of protein. “Athletes love to snack, too, but they also want to watch their figures and do something for their bodies. As a result, the taste and look of these products are playing an ever more important role,” reports Tobias Decker, Director of Customer Service and Logistics. He believes that the entire industry is in a growth phase and is certain that this development is set to continue. “Online retail in particular is enjoying strong growth. Even so, we are also reaching a lot of our customers through fitness studios.”
Full steam ahead
Ramona Groh also wants to impress trainers and studio operators with her new product. Groh, Marketing Manager at Scraegg, is certain that the 15-second scrambled egg has the potential to be an immediate hit, because this food for athletes does not emerge greasily from a pan, but rather fluffily from a cup. “The eggs are prepared using steam, giving them a creamy consistency. Together with a star chef, we created a variety of flavours using such ingredients as roasted onions, tomatoes and Italian cheese.” Over the long term, the company plans to introduce additional products, including soups and porridge. These healthy savoury foods should provide strong competition for sweet shakes. “Eggs contain a lot of vitamins and amino acids, and by preparing them with steam we are able to retain these valuable nutrients,” says Ramona Groh. She's convinced that there is a bright future for good flavours and natural ingredients. “In the fitness world in particular, people are paying closer attention to their nutrition, and they are very careful about the ingredients. FIBO visitors were very impressed.”
A hearty addition to any salad
Squbes’ concept aims to keep athletes fit using seeds with superpowers. Sugar-free, vegan and provided in bite-size pieces, the sweet varieties are perfect for snacking on the sofa, while the savoury versions add a nice bit of bite and flavour to salads. “They are also a high-fibre source of protein,” says Ronan Garmley. As European Sales Director, Garmley made new contacts for these seed and nut cubes during FIBO. “The response was amazing – the product was very well received.” It is perfectly designed to go ‘from hand to mouth’, making it ideal for its target group. “People today are always on the go and they have to work a lot. As a result, they want simple, healthy foods that they can easily consume while going about their active lives.”
Dried meat in bags
Another company focusing on fast and tasty protein-rich treats is Elbbiltong, a young firm that offers dried meat in bags. These hearty slices have been created to add a bit of spice to the office grind, as well as to provide the perfect finishing touch to pizzas and salads. According to Managing Director Michael Franke: “We want to establish an alternative to sweet chocolate and vanilla shakes.” He spent quite some time experimenting with these pieces of high-quality beef, which boast a protein content of 56 to 58 percent, in an effort to provide his customers with the purest product possible. “It takes ten to twelve days to dry at room temperature, and has a shelf life of three months without any sugar or preservatives.” Numerous FIBO visitors tried it, and even though the price tag caused a few of them to think twice, they purchased it anyway. After all, as Michael Franke put it, quality does have its price. “Yet even young people in the field of fitness are aware of this, and they are willing to pay for quality.”