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Rio 2016, Doping & Sports Nutrition Trends for Marketers

How sports nutrition marketers can maintain market share following doping scandals.
BY Ollie Roddy - August 11, 2016

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are underway and we’ve bagged a few Gold medals already - but not in the same vain as Russia. In a controversial decision, Russian athletes who tested positive for doping during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have been allowed to compete in this year’s games, causing frustration amongst many in that it degrades the meaning of being a professional athlete.

However sports nutrition goes beyond the grounds of olympic stadiums as the trend enters the mainstream with a range of demographics looking for supplements to aid in their muscle development, strength and overall health. Protein supplements are the fastest growing segment in the sports and nutrition product market, growing at a CAGR of 9.6%, but as we discussed previously, people are becoming more and more aware but also concerned over ingredients they’re putting into their body.

This, combined with an increasing number of ‘cheats’ being uncovered at major athletic events, can have a damning effect on sales, profit and reputation for sports nutrition marketers.

Innovation or Certification?
Due to negative media publicity around doping scandals, consumers are more likely to opt for more RIO_2016_Doping_and_Sports_Nutirtion_Trends.jpegnatural alternatives and stay clear of controversial ingredients found on the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA) list, according to Dominik Mattern, business development manager of sports nutrition at Capsugel. Marketing for sports nutrition products will need to reflect this shift in emotional behaviour, ensuring there’s a clear divide between marketing hyperbole and science. Either way, marketers of such protein and energy supplements face a challenge in competing with the ‘clean living’ ethos, ensuring their products don’t get tagged as dangerous.

The solution? Get certified. 
Brands such as Bulk Powders, MET-RxMaxiNutrition, PHD Nutrition, USNGrenade, MyProtein, Musclefood and Kinetica are taking this approach and reaping the benefits.

INFORMED-SPORT
The certification is a quality assurance programme designed to protect sports nutrition products, suppliers to the sports nutrition industry and supplement manufacturing facilities. Products that feature the INFORMED-SPORT logo informed-sport-trusted-by-sport-logo-nutrition-x.pngare formally certified, recognised and have been screened to check for ingredients listed in the WADA document. Not only does this certification guarantee your product is of the utmost quality, it reassures consumers that your brand is safe and the ingredients are not contaminated with any banned drug.

Informed marketing
To compete on shelf space and remain an obvious choice for consumers, you need smart marketing to ensure your audience recognises you as a safe, clean way to be healthy. Communication is key during times like this, curating marketing messages that speak to the modern, educated consumer. 

For expert advice on how to combat this shift in consumer buying behaviour, get in touch for a free consultation on the best marketing strategy for your sports nutrition brand.