Power of protein

With positive growth expected to continue in sports nutrition over the next five years, with Euromonitor reporting robust volume and constant value growth is expected across all major categories, here we outline the best-selling brands and latest innovations continuing to power impressive results within this dynamic sector


Brand Central

20 February 2024

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Sports nutrition has significant growth opportunities, Euromonitor states in a recent report  entitled ‘Sports Nutrition in Ireland’ published in September 2023. “The positive growth dynamic is expected to continue in sports nutrition over the forecast [five-year] period, with robust volume and constant value growth expected in all major categories,” Euromonitor stated. “Given that increased health-consciousness is expected to be a lasting legacy of the pandemic, growing participation in sports and fitness activities among the Irish population should continue to boost overall demand,” the analyst added.

Euromonitor also reports a strong potential for protein bars due to their broader appeal. “Protein bars is expected to be one of the key winners in sports nutrition over the forecast period, due to its much broader appeal and larger consumer base,” Euromonitor states.

Sports protein ready-to-drink (RTD) products are also expected to see good growth over the forecast period as consumers seek more convenient protein offerings that can be consumed on-the-go, Euromonitor adds. With major brands in this category focusing on innovation and product development, they are likely to drive category growth in the coming years.

Research from Bord Bia also shows the extent to which in the last decade, protein content has become a key focus for Irish shoppers, evident in convenience stores and supermarkets nationwide. According to Bord Bia’s Insight Centre, among potential users of protein products, 39% express interest, peaking at 56% among Irish enthusiasts. Health food stores are increasingly vital in Ireland’s sports nutrition scene, connecting enthusiasts with performance-boosting products.

‘There’s more of you in you’

Leinster Rugby player Hugo Keenan has been announced as a new ambassador for Optimum Nutrition

Optimum Nutrition is the world’s number one selling protein powder brand*

The official performance nutrition partners of the Gaelic Players Association and Leinster Rugby, Optimum Nutrition has been the preferred choice of professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts for more than 35 years.

Recently, Optimum Nutrition announced Leinster Rugby player Hugo Keenan as a new ambassador. The Leinster Rugby fullback joined the Optimum Nutrition elite team including Irish athletes Emma Duggan, Sean Finn, Nadia Power and Conor O’Keeffe.

Leinster Rugby fullback, Hugo Keenan has joined the Optimum Nutrition elite team which includes Irish athletes Emma Duggan, Sean Finn, Nadia Power and Conor O’Keeffe

Commenting on his new ambassador role, Keenan said: “I’m delighted to join Optimum Nutrition as one of their brand ambassadors alongside some fantastic athletes I admire. Nutrition is a massive part of rugby and high-performance sport, providing the building blocks for each training session and match.

“With Optimum Nutrition as a partner, my Leinster Rugby teammates and I know we will be provided with the very best nutrition products for elite athletes, playing a significant role in support of our goals each season,” he added.

The world’s number one selling protein powder brand, Optimum Nutrition, produces a variety of great tasting, high-quality nutritional foods and beverages

Optimum Nutrition supports motivated athletes and fitness enthusiasts as they work to unlock their potential and find more energy, strength and recovery.

The brand produces a variety of great tasting, high-quality nutritional foods and beverages that support an active and healthy lifestyle, including bars, protein powders, ready-to-drink shakes, energy products and more.

To learn more about the Optimum Nutrition product portfolio visit their Irish website, OptimumNutrition.ie.

*(Source: Euromonitor International Limited; Consumer Health 2023 edition, Sports Protein Powder category, % retail value shares, 2022 data)

Hero for every fitness journey

For those seeking additional protein in their diets, Avonmore Protein Milk offers a choice of ten products

It’s that time of year! Time to get back into an exercise routine and stay active. Whether your shoppers are just starting their fitness journey or restarting it, Avonmore Protein Milk has a range of great-tasting high protein products for those seeking additional protein in their diets.

For those looking for a convenient, great-tasting, high protein milk after exercising, they can choose from Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Original flavour, or for those seeking a top of the range option, Protein Gold is perfect after a heavy workout, with 33g of protein. Meanwhile, Pro-Oats offers 27g of protein alongside 23g of oats, ideal for those early morning sessions before work.

With a total of ten products in the Avonmore Protein Milk to choose from, there’s one for every occasion in everyone’s fitness journey.

Continuing to reinvent snacking

Fulfil Milk Chocolate Crunch is a limited edition offering which can be found on shelves from April

Ireland’s number one protein bar brand, Fulfil, is set to launch an exciting, limited-edition flavour to its already extensive flavour portfolio. Fulfil, the protein category leader in snack bars will hit shelves with two innovative flavours this year, continuing to reinvent the snacking category.

New Fulfil Milk Chocolate Crunch possesses all the brand’s distinctive attributes such as 20g protein, nine vitamins and less than 3g sugar

Milk Chocolate Crunch is a limited edition offering and can be found on shelves from April. Milk Chocolate Crunch not only has a broad consumer flavour appeal, but its indulgent taste and distinctive crunch, whilst boasting all of Fulfil’s distinctive attributes such as 20g protein, nine vitamins and less than 3g sugar, make it set to be a consumer favourite. Fulfil’s genuinely tasty alternatives to standard chocolate confectionery give consumers a high-protein snacking choice, with no compromise on flavour.

Keep up to date with all things Fulfil and watch out for a sampling coming near you @fulfil_nutrition.

*(Source: Based on collated EPOS from over 1500 Republic of Ireland stores for 52w/e 31st December 2023)

Fuelling performance, energising lives

Over recent years, Energise has evolved beyond being just a sports drinks brand. It has crafted a diverse portfolio of sports and energy drinks, catering to the ever-growing energy needs of consumers — all while maintaining an attractive price point for Irish consumers.

Energise Sport is the number two sports drink brand in Ireland and wears the “Made in Ireland” badge with pride. Whether consumers are hitting the gym, sprinting on the field, or conquering rugged trails, Energise Sport provides the perfect solution. Formulated based on scientific research, this isotonic sports drink strikes the perfect balance of water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes. Clinical trials have proven its ability to facilitate rapid hydration and enhance endurance during exercise. This has led to strong sport hydration partnerships including the FAI, Ulster Rugby, Belfast Giants and many GAA teams across the country.

Energise Energy is a stimulant energy drink that packs a punch with its unique blend of energy-boosting ingredients, caffeine & great tasting flavours. Fierce White and Mango Magic are the latest launches from the brand, which continue to further drive brand growth.

Refreshing Energise Glucose is charged with glucose and fortified with B vitamins (niacin, pantothenic acid and B6). These vitamins contribute to reducing tiredness and fatigue. Available in both 500ml, 440ml and 750ml – these price-marked and great-value marked packs continue to drive strong sales within the everyday energy category.

Full on protein, full on taste!

Danone GetPro is a range of high-protein dairy snacks designed for people who want to get more out of their workouts, and enjoy a great tasting, healthy snack*.

Containing between 15 – 25 grams of protein per serve, GetPro’s range of tasty products includes high-protein yogurts, mousses, puddings, and drinks. Each product is high in protein with great tasting flavours and textures, the most delicious way to follow a workout, and support an individual on their fitness journey*.

Discover GetPro’s delicious and high protein range of performance protein drinks, yoghurts and desserts; elevating performance throughout the fitness journey.

*(GetPro contains protein which contributes to the maintenance and growth of muscle mass. Enjoy as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.)

Monster growth

Thanks to new product innovation, the zero sugar segment has been enriched with the introduction of Lewis Hamilton Zero Sugar and Ultra Rosa from Monster.

Monster has continued its growth within the Zero Sugar segment with the launch of Monster Zero Sugar – a zero sugar option of the flagship original Monster, and a new Ultra flavour Peachy Keen. The expanding zero sugar segment now includes Ultra White, Ultra Rosa, Ultra Paradise, Ultra Gold, Ultra Fiesta Mango, Ultra Watermelon, Ultra Blue, Ultra Red, Ultra Peachy Keen as well as Lewis Hamilton Zero Sugar and now Green Zero Sugar.

The Monster Energy brand’s Full Flavour range has also seen a new addition with the introduction of Aussie Lemonade and with the launch of Reserve Pineapple. The full flavoured segment now includes Mango Loco, Pipeline Punch, Monarch, Khaotic, Aussie Lemonade, Pacific Punch, Mixxd Punch, The Doctor and Reserve Pineapple.

Giving you wiiings!

Red Bull continues to grow strongly in Ireland with growth of +23% in 2023 versus the previous year

Promising to vitalise body and mind, Red Bull Energy Drink, alongside its expanding range of editions is the perfect option for those looking for ‘wiiings’ this spring!

Red Bull Sugar Free serves the no sugar category trend, while the colourful editions including Tropical, Red (Watermelon), Green (Cactus Fruit), Apricot and Juneberry provide wiiings for every taste. Red Bull Energy Drink, and now the Tropical and Watermelon editions, are also available in super convenient four packs, driving value and variety for the consumer.

In return, Red Bull continues to grow strongly in Ireland with growth of +23% in 2023 versus the previous year, while Red Bull 250ml Energy Drink is the number one energy drink in the Irish market*.

Founded in 1987, Red Bull established the energy drinks product category and is now available in over 170 countries worldwide. It is appreciated worldwide by top athletes, students and in highly demanding professions, as well as during long drives.

Giving wiiings to people and ideas, Red Bull is proud to champion athletes across the island, supporting rugby player Mack Hansen, hockey goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran, surfer Conor Maguire, mountain biker Greg Callaghan and drifter Conor Shanahan.

Visit www.redbull.ie or follow @RedBullIre on Instagram and TikTok to stay up to date with the latest action and events for what promises to be an exciting and energizing 2024.

*(Source: Nielsen ROI Scantrack Energy Drinks Value Sales data – Full Year 2023 v 2022)

Elevate the snacking experience

Fit Foods’ High-Protein Puddings pack an impressive 20g of protein per pot

Fit Foods, Ireland’s premier ready meal provider, is proud to announce the latest addition to its line-up – High-Protein Puddings, a delicious and nutritious solution for smart snacking on-the-go.

These innovative puddings, designed for those who prioritize protein in their diet, pack an impressive 20g of protein per pot, making it the ideal choice for individuals seeking a convenient and satisfying snack to fuel their busy lifestyles.

The O’Leary family, owners of DMC Foods – home of Fit Foods – continue their commitment to high-quality products that prioritize both flavour and nutritional value.

Brian O’Leary, the leading force behind Fit Foods, expressed excitement about the launch, stating: “We understand the importance of convenient, nutritious snacking in today’s fast-paced world. Our High-Protein Pudding not only satisfies sweet cravings but also ensures a substantial protein boost whenever it’s needed. Our High-Protein Puddings are set to become the go-to option for a guilt-free treat.”

Offering the perfect combination of taste and nutrition, eating gut-friendly foods, such as Fit Foods’ Gut-Friendly Yogurts, can also offer a range of benefits:

  • Digestive health: Live yogurt cultures promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, supporting a healthy digestive system.
  • Improved gut microbiota: Consuming gut-friendly foods contributes to a balanced and diverse microbiota, which is linked to various aspects of overall health.
  • Boosted immunity: A healthy gut is associated with a stronger immune system, helping the body defend against illnesses and infections.
  • Nutrient absorption: A well-maintained gut enhances the absorption of nutrients, ensuring the body can make the most of the food consumed.
  • Mood and mental health: There’s emerging research suggesting a connection between gut health and mental wellbeing. A healthy gut may positively impact mood and cognitive function.
  • Reduced inflammation: Maintaining a balanced gut environment may help reduce inflammation, which is linked to various chronic diseases.
  • Weight management: Some studies suggest that a healthy gut microbiome is associated with better weight management and metabolism.
  • Regularity: Gut-friendly foods can aid in maintaining regular bowel movements and preventing issues like constipation.

Fit Foods’ Gut-Friendly Yogurts, enriched with live yogurt cultures, provide a tasty and convenient way to incorporate these benefits into an individual’s daily diet, promoting a holistic approach to wellbeing.

Optimal hydration

Nuun Sport Electrolytes and Nuun Ultra Hydration support optimal hydration and help replenish electrolytes lost during exercise

Nestlé Health Science UK & Ireland is excited to announce the launch of Nuun, a leading US hydration sports nutrition brand, designed to support optimal hydration during workouts and help replenish electrolytes lost during exercise.

Nuun offers a range of effervescent drink tablets that go beyond water, replenishing vital minerals that contribute to performance. The product line includes two variants: Nuun Sport Electrolytes and Nuun Ultra Hydration.

Nuun Sport Electrolytes, the flagship sports drink tablet product, is formulated with complete electrolytes and clean ingredients to help replace what is lost during exercise-induced sweating. With four delicious flavours; LemonLime, Orange, StrawberryLemonade, and TriBerry, Nuun Sport Electrolytes provides a great balance of ingredients for mineral replenishment to deliver hydration support before, during, and after workouts.

For high-need hydration occasions, Nuun Ultra Hydration is inspired by pioneering science and developed to provide powerful hydration when it is needed the most. It is formulated with an optimised electrolyte carbohydrate blend to deliver proactive hydration support, ensuring you stay on track for every activity.

Electrolytes, tiny particles that carry electrical charges, play a crucial role in maintaining proper bodily function. When people sweat, Nuun’s electrolyte blend helps maintain water balance at a cellular level, ensuring healthy recovery and lasting performance.

All Nuun products are made with no artificial colours or flavours and are Informed Sports Certified which means they do not contain ingredients and compounds prohibited in sport and can be used by athletes and sport professionals.

“We are thrilled to introduce Nuun to the UK and Ireland,” said Zoe Cooper, innovation manager at Nestlé Health Science UK & Ireland.

“With Nuun, sports enthusiasts can achieve optimal hydration with a range of delicious flavours and clean ingredients. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a fitness enthusiast, Nuun is here to support you in finishing your workout strong, hydrated, and replenished.”

Nuun Sport and Nuun Ultra Hydration is now available at sports retailers across the UK and Ireland supported by leading sports nutrition distributor UNNU.

For more information about Nuun Hydration and its range of products, visit www.everyhealth.com.

Dynamic coffee innovation

A new ready-to-brew coffee, Velo Coffee + Protein contains 12g of protein per serving

Velo Coffee Roasters has unveiled Velo Coffee + Protein, a ready-to-brew coffee that contains 12g of protein per serving. The product brings together small-batch roasted Speciality Arabica coffee with the benefits of protein.

Suzanne Casey and Madyson Savner, who spearhead the project, describe the result as a creamy, rich coffee with notes of milk chocolate, able to provide healthy energy while helping consumers to build and maintain muscle. While protein products like coffee-flavoured protein powder and RTD iced coffees have already launched on the market, adding traditional whey protein to hot liquids usually makes it congeal as it is not heat soluble, says Savner.

The company partnered with Glanbia Nutritionals to launch the protein coffee using Glanbia’s ProTherma whey, said to dissolve completely and maintain its nutritional properties without impacting on the coffee’s taste or aroma.

Velo Coffee Roasters partnered with Glanbia Nutritionals to launch the protein coffee using Glanbia’s ProTherma whey

Mayuresh Bedekar, director of product at Glanbia Nutritionals, said: “The coffee uses a high-quality hydrolysed whey protein, ProTherma, which is an exciting new alternative that works with hot coffee to achieve a protein-rich formulation that is stable and highly soluble.”

“We wanted to create a coffee that still tasted delicious, so you don’t have to make a sacrifice for quality and flavour when having your boost of protein,” added Suzanne Casey. “This is a revolutionary approach to great-tasting, real speciality coffee with additional health benefits,”

Indeed, one industry expert described it as the most innovative product in coffee since the launch of the Nespresso capsule in 1986. After nearly two years of testing, Velo Coffee + Protein achieved the taste and quality standards for which the Cork coffee roasters are known.

Absolute satisfaction!

Absolute Nutrition offers the finest quality, minimal ingredient with maximum taste, functional snacks

Absolute Nutrition continue to hold its reign in the healthy snack food market offering the finest quality, minimal ingredient with maximum taste, functional snacks to athletes and health-conscious consumers. The range also satisfies customers with busy, on-the-go lifestyles or individuals simply looking to satisfy that sweet tooth craving in the most guilt free-way. An ideal travel snack or coffee accompaniment, Absolute Nutrition snacks tick every box and also boast zero food waste at the brand’s gluten-free, Dublin-based bakery.

With over five core flavours to choose from and a seasonal selection, Absolute Nutrition offers a mix of taste, flavours and functionality to guide consumers into making better snacking choices that also satisfy cravings for a treat on-the-go. Each two-pack is perfectly portioned and offers an ideal healthy option impulse purchase at the point of sale.

For more information, email info@absolutenutrition.ie, visit www.absolutenutrition.ie or social media @absnutfoods.

Power up your day

Each pot of Flahavan’s High Protein Porridge contains 8.5g of protein and also provides a good source of fibre

Flahavan’s, Ireland’s favourite porridge, launched its High Protein Vanilla porridge pot in response to growing consumer demand for convenient breakfast solutions with added health benefits. Part of a wider functional range from the Waterford-based family food business, the High Protein pot has established itself as a staple among younger and health-conscious porridge consumers, who have helped drive exceptional sales volume growth in the past 52 weeks. The new functional range includes three varieties: High Protein, Immunity Boost and High Fibre.

Flahavan’s High Protein Porridge pot combines all the delicious creaminess of Flahavan’s locally-sourced oats with a delicately sweet vanilla flavour. Each pot contains 8.5g of protein and also provides a good source of fibre. The High Protein pot was developed to appeal to younger consumers who are seeking to increase their protein intake at breakfast time or before/after a workout.

Flahavan’s Immunity Boost Porridge comes in both sachets and pots and has a delicious raspberry flavour. It contains real fruit raspberry pieces as well as added vitamins such as Iron, Zinc and Vitamin D to give you an extra boost of goodness each morning, as well as providing a good source of fibre.

Flahavan’s High Fibre Porridge pots and sachets contain a variety of seeds and Oat Bran for a natural boost of fibre, as well as providing a good source of protein. Delicious creamy porridge with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and golden linseeds for texture, this is a great way of increasing your fibre intake with a healthy and nutritious porridge breakfast at home or at your desk.

All products are low in saturated fats and can be heated in the microwave using milk or water or can be prepared by simply adding boiling water and allowing to stand for up to three minutes.

Flahavan’s range of ‘Porridge Oats with Added Benefits’ is now available in all major supermarkets at a RRP of €1.39 per 45g Pot (Immunity Boost, High Fibre, and High Protein variants).













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