In the face of retail challenges, the sports and nutrition category stands resilient. So how can forecourt retailers tap into this opportunity to drive healthy snacking sales and thrive in this dynamic market.

The sports nutrition market has witnessed remarkable growth, fuelled by increasing health consciousness and a surge in fitness trends in spite of challenges around decreased consumer brand loyalty.

In fact, during 2022 there was 30% growth across the Sports and Nutrition category in retail, as consumers express interest in maintaining healthier habits, demonstrated by the rise of things like #healthtok (2.4bn views on TikTok).

As such, consumers are seeking products that complement a healthier lifestyle. A 2022 study from YouGov highlighted that 82% of Britons pay attention to what they are eating, with 24% of people identifying healthiness as the determining factor for purchase of food.

This is driving innovation in the industry, with a lot of health-conscious brands taking space online, there is a gap in the forecourt market to offer this as a point of difference, driving innovation and expansion.


Opportunity for growth

Since 2004, Myprotein, the world’s leading online sports nutrition brand, has been innovating sports nutrition. The range has grown to provide protein, vitamins and essential supplements for a healthy lifestyle.

Focusing on accessibility to high-quality nutrition suitable for everyone, the brand identified an opportunity in forecourts, with a relatively untapped potential. In early 2023, Valli Forecourts began listing 25 SKUs, ranging from Whey Protein and Clear Whey to protein bars, cookies, and brownies.

Across Valli’s 16 sites, the most popular products have been the Gooey Filled Cookie, Protein Brownie, and Layered Protein Bar. These on-the-go snacks are great for consumers who prioritise convenient and nutritious products when travelling, a category previously associated with unhealthy foods.

To support both the online and in-store revenue channels, the brand is also looking to trial an affiliate system, where forecourt owners can benefit from online purchases forecourt customers make using an exclusive discount code.

Valli Forecourts

Success of one brand

In addition to Myprotein’s offering of bars and protein drinks, THG Nutrition’s products continue to evolve in line with market trends. This includes the newest product range, SELFish. This is a line of refreshing sparkling soft drinks, packed with real fruit juices, prebiotics and fibre, they’re designed to support gut health.

According to research, the functional drinks market has had an annual growth rate of 8.66% since 2016, and it continues to thrive. Over the past year, and in the wake of the pandemic, our health consciousness as a nation has accelerated. As a new wave of consumers enter the market, functional drinks are trending alongside a new clean way of living – think pilates and green juices.

As consumers grow ever more health conscious, research shows that 31% of consumers are now interested in purchasing premium soft drinks with additional functional benefit, and that the functional wellness market is now worth £240m.

This innovation to introduce new products and react to emerging trends has allowed Myprotein to go from strength to strength over the last couple of years. With listings in major supermarkets and working with numerous wholesalers around the country, Myprotein is a brand with increasing availability and visibility to all consumers because of this online/offline approach.

The overall brand excels at grab-and-go nutrition that supports a healthy lifestyle, and is showcasing the success of these products in a convenience retail space.