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In a joint press release, AstaReal, Beneo, and Gelita are highlighting the potential of the emerging e-sports and gaming market for food and dietary supplement manufacturers.
In a joint press release, AstaReal, Beneo, and Gelita are highlighting the potential of the emerging e-sports and gaming market for food and dietary supplement manufacturers. According to Nielsen, the burgeoning category may have been spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, with significant increases in gamer numbers during the pandemic as people found themselves sequestered in their homes. This was most notable in the U.S., France, United Kingdom, and Germany. During this time, Sony and Microsoft also released new gaming consoles, which may have fed into consumers’ excitement about gaming. Considering these factors, AstaReal, Beneo, and Gelita are making the case for manufacturers to target the gaming community within the fields of sports nutrition and energy drinks to promote performance and endurance during competitive gaming
While some may find it hard to characterize competitive gamers as athletes, the expectations from sponsors and fans are immense, and therefore performance requirements are high. Nor is gaming free of physical consequences. Competitive gamers, coined e-athletes, often suffer from back and neck pain, fatigue, headaches, eye irritations, and can develop problems with their tendons and ligaments in their hands. A common joint problem for gamers called “gamer’s thumb,” for example, may be prevented through collagen supplementation.
“The gaming nutrition market offers great potential. There are still relatively few products in this area, compared to the myriad of e-athlete demands,” says Oliver Wolf, head of B2B marketing (global) for Gelita, in a press release. “For manufacturers of sports nutrition products and dietary supplements, this represents numerous opportunities to position themselves and their products successfully. Our Bioactive Collagen Peptides (BCP) Tendoforte have, for instance, been scientifically tested for years in the field of sports nutrition and are equally suitable for use in the e-sports sector.”
Other ripe areas of support for gamers are cognitive health, and eye-relief from prolonged screen time. “Many games also require an enormous degree of tactical understanding, quick judgment and heightened attention span,” says Andie Long, marketing and sales Manager at AstaReal. “An e-athlete’s diet should therefore be similar to that of other competitive sportspeople and include nutrients such as natural astaxanthin, which improves concentration as well as physical and mental fatigue.”
Energy demands of e-athletes are also high fueling demand for functional beverages, bars, and snacks that not only help with energy, but also concentration, and staying relaxed in stressful situations. Products that are high in sugar and caffeine are not always ideal for this purpose, creating a need for alternative ingredients. One alternative sugar called Palatinose (generic name: isomaltulose) from Beneo may be an ideal option by delivering balanced, sustained energy without the typical sugar crash. Nor does it raise blood sugar levels because it is broken down very gradually in the small intestine.
“Many manufacturers continue to rely on their products delivering a quick kick via rapidly available carbohydrates such as maltodextrin, sucrose or glucose syrup in combination with caffeine or taurine. However, this is suboptimal if you need power for a longer period of time and have to remain focused,” explains Thomas Schmidt, marketing director at Beneo. “Carbohydrates such as Palatinose, on the other hand, offer a balanced supply of glucose as energy source. In addition, scientists have found that the special way Palatinose provides energy can enhance a person’s mood and memory skills.”
The possible dosage forms for e-sports products can be diverse, ranging from traditional capsules, to beverages, shots, sachets, gummies, and functional foods. Whatever the format, a holistic approach is recommended. “Concepts with several ingredients that are geared towards the different needs of gamers and which complement each other will prevail in the future,” says Wolf.
“Even if not all gamers pursue their hobby at a competitive level, the fact that premium names like BMW, SAP, Pringles and Volvic sponsor e-sports teams and virtual soccer leagues makes it clear how important this sector has become,” adds Schmidt. “The global audience for e-sports counted around 443 million people in 2019. And many manufacturers are already successfully using branding that specifically targets gamers.”