Every developed and developing country is teeming today with manufacturers and distributors of nutraceutical products that cater to professional sportsmen and women and sport-minded ones alike. Health products of every type, size and taste have abound. Today, the nurtraceutical industry is estimated to be worth $80 billion (U.S.) Just what are the factors of success in this highly competitive field of sports nutrition industry?
The biggest sports nutrition players have come up with keywords to success:
Company efforts to advance the field of supplement products for sports nutrition are the backbone of any industry. By supporting clinical research and trying to foster a relationship with science advisory boards, the field of sports nutrition is advanced. Eventually, consumers are able to receive innovative, scientifically-based, safe and effective products.
Advisory boards have funded research projects on nutrition and sports performance including research on creatine, HMB, CLA and glutamine among others. Research grants are also provided to young scientists early in their careers.
Large-scale sports nutrition industries commit over USD500,000 every year to independent analytical analysis to ensure that sports nutrition products meet specifications. Investigations are also warranted. There should be rigorous vendor certification or re-certification auditing program that helps companies adhere to industry quality standards.
New products and technologies should be developed to provide the best quality on existing products.
Consumers have a preoccupation of trying out something new. There should always be innovation whether it means new forms of delivery (gels, effervescent tablets, functional beverages) or new applications of or combinations with existing products.
For Sports Nutrition consumers, price is still everything. In the U.S. for example, even though people were getting laid off and the economy has been unstable after 9/11 people still wanted to work out and stay healthy. This coupled with higher oil prices has lead people to look for deals and good prices.
Products must be extremely competitively. Sport Nutrition giants for example rely on increased sales volume in exchange of lesser profit margins on each product sold.
Quality, certification and taste matter but in the final analysis, consumer want good deals on great products.
What should retailers do to become their customers first choice for sports nutrition products? Carry a variety of lines that will offer clients with options in supplements.
Retailers often opt not to sports supplements when they carried only one line or one brand. Sports nutrition customers are varied and are everywhere. There are more women as well as men buying supplements and at different ages and varied income brackets. Retail stores should therefore be able to offer a selection products or else buyers will look elsewhere, like the internet or shop somewhere other than these local vitamin stores or pharmacies.
There are regulatory agencies to protect consumers. Sports nutrition companies should engage in top of the line research and development and prove the efficacy and safety of their nurtraceutical products. Products that are based on false or misleading marketing should be and are banned and condemned.
It is thus the responsibility of manufacturers and marketers to provide sports nutrition products that are safe, effective, easily used, and completely understood by both retailers and consumers.
Today, natural product retailers can provide consumers safe alternatives to potentially harmful chemical stimulants (fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine), fat-chelating agents, cosmetic surgery, and a life of inactivity or painful exercise Natural, science-based exercise nutrition products that promote energy, fitness, and weight loss are now available.
Consumers are becoming more and more intelligent. They rely on scientific and hard facts rather than recommendations and endorsements from celebrities and sports personalities. Aside from vigorous research, sports nutrition companies should invest in a sound information dissemination and product communication strategy to stay ahead of the game.
Product information should be detailed but fairly understandable. Also, information should be readily available on product packets, posters, print and TV advertisements and the internet. Consumers can believe only what manufacturers communicate well.
Everything focuses around education for the consumer — an educated consumer is the industrys best friend.
These principles helped sports nutrition companies boost the industry as a whole. If remembered and adhered to, these keywords will spur more gains in the industry as large portions of the worlds population now put priority to fitness and health.
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