Newswise — CHICAGO – Sports drinks, powders, goos and bars used to be targeted to the more hard-core athletes, but now more and more of these products are fueling mainstream consumer interest. Contributing editor A. Elizabeth Sloan highlights several trends driving the $33 billion sports nutrition sector in the August issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

1. Fifty-three percent of Americans exercised for more than 30 minutes a day on three or more days of the week last year, an all-time high (Gallup 2015).2. One hundred and six million adults are exercise walkers, 56 million exercise with equipment, 45 million do aerobic exercise and 45 million run/jog (National Sporting Goods Association 2016). 3. Hispanics and younger consumers are the most likely to exercise regularly, and teen sports participation is also at an all-time high. (National Sporting Goods Association 2016).4. Energy and sports drinks were among the top 10 fastest growing consumer packaged goods in 2015 (IRI 2016). 5. Nearly half of consumers aged 18-24 consume sports drinks/mixes when they are not working out, and one-third of those aged 55 plus do (Mintel 2015).6. Forty-five percent of adults bought a high-protein sports/energy bar in the last month and 87 percent of adults believe protein builds muscles. (Packaged Facts 2016).7. Twenty-eight percent of adults were extremely or very concerned about muscle/muscle tone in 2015 (HealthFocus).8. One in five adults look for products formulated with vegetarian protein and one quarter of adults used a sports supplement in 2015 (Council on Responsible Nutrition 2015).

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