Issue 44

Protein leads in Brazilian sports nutrition

Whey protein products have high growth potential in South America

Sports nutrition is big business in Brazil, where consumers of all ages are today investing in their health and wellness. High-protein powders, bars and beverages are top of the shopping list, with sales expected to grow 13% a year in value up to 2017.Andréa Moura acknowledges the growth forecast from Euromonitor International. As regional manager for Arla Foods Ingredients in South America, she follows the growing sales of whey protein concentrate to Brazil at close hand.“In 2013, we supplied more than half of Brazil’s total whey protein imports from our production plant in Argentina. Most of these proteins go into sports nutrition products,” she says.“Right now, the main emphasis is still on protein powders. But the market is moving towards clear beverages and bars. Dairy companies are responding by launching new beverages or yoghurts with a sports claim.”

Personal trainers influence purchases
Brazil’s sports nutrition trend is driven by the increase in consumer spending power. Euromonitor International also points to the ‘free pass’ gyms, which allow keep-fitters to drop in when and where they want. Personal trainers employed by the gyms have a major influence on sports nutrition purchases.

By 2017, the market for protein-based sports nutrition is forecast to reach EUR 219 million (USD 299 million) – close to double the sales figures from 2012.

High regional potential
Moura sees a similar trend emerging in Peru and Colombia.

“These markets have particularly high potential due to their flexible legislation and increasingly stable economies, with growth in industry and employment,” she says.“This is where our local production gives us a competitive benefit. Our products are already well known for their high quality and good taste.”

The Arla Foods Ingredients plant in Argentina is a joint venture established in 2002 with Sancor, one of the country’s leading dairy companies. In 2012, the plant was expanded for the second time in response to ongoing sales growth.