One of the differences is that “casual” sports nutrition users may place more importance on a product’s taste and texture compared to “hardcore” users.
An April 2023 consumer survey conducted by ingredients supplier Prinova (London) found some key differences between the product priorities of “mainstream” sports nutrition customers and “hardcore” sports nutrition customers in Europe. The survey was conducted in 1277 consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The full results are now published in a report available from Prinova. One of the survey’s leading takeaways is that more-casual sports nutrition customers may place more importance on a product’s taste and texture compared to “hardcore” sports nutrition users.
Casual sports nutrition users are those who exercise less frequently. (All survey respondents said they exercised at least twice per week.) For both casual and hardcore sports nutrition customers, the top three priorities when using sports nutrition products were energy (71%), post-exercise recovery (51%), and muscle growth (48%).
However, the survey also found that more-casual sports nutrition users may also prioritize other goals such as weight management and immune health. For instance, “Consumers who exercised twice a week were almost twice as likely to prioritize immune health as those who exercised daily (20% vs. 11%),” the company’s press release reports. Consumers who exercised less frequently were also more driven by weight-management goals (24% vs. 16%) and digestive health (11% vs. 7%) compared to serious users. Moreover, product taste and texture is an influencer for more-casual users compared to serious users (33% compared to 22%).
“This research suggests that people who exercise less regularly tend to have different goals from their more ‘hardcore’ counterparts and are more likely to have needs that overlap other categories, such as immune health and weight management,” noted Tony Gay, technical sales director, nutrition, Prinova Europe, in a press release. “The takeaway is that there is no ‘typical’ sports nutrition consumer, and as the market becomes more fragmented, there will be growing demand for innovative bespoke and hybrid products targeting more than one goal.”