The power of protein

The power of protein

Protein trends for sales gains

Protein is a trending macronutrient, with consumers increasingly looking to boost their protein intake from alternative sources. And it’s no longer just about building muscle. In fact, the top 3 reasons consumers take protein supplements are general health, energy and immune health.

It’s reported that sports nutrition is the fastest-growing consumer health category. In major grocery, protein powder sales are up 44%, and protein and energy bars are up 18.7%. The protein energy bar market alone is valued at AUD $300 million, with further growth projected.

Protein powders, supplements, and bars offer consumers a convenient option to increase their intake, and sales data reflects their impressive appeal. Discover how to muscle in on the protein boom with four key trends driving market growth.

Switch NutritionSwitch Nutrition
Switch Nutrition

Protein snacks and baking mixes

With better-for-you snacks on the rise, protein is a key consideration when consumers are making snack choices. For as many as one-third of consumers, health claims – such as protein – influence their snack decisions.

Protein snacks and baking mixes combine the benefits of convenience and indulgence with the high protein content consumers are seeking.

Switch Nutrition Plant Protein Bars offer high protein content and gut-friendly prebiotic fibre with only 220 calories per bar. They’re also free from gluten and dairy, appealing to consumers seeking allergen-friendly alternatives.

The PBCo. Protein range includes a variety of sweet and savoury baking mixes, all packed with protein. Made with wholesome, natural ingredients, the mixes are also gluten free, low carb and keto friendly.

Protein Supplies Australia, Botakina BlendsProtein Supplies Australia, Botakina Blends
Protein Supplies Australia, Botakina Blends

Natural pre-workout 

Pre-workout supplements may boost energy and performance to maximise a workout. As the second largest performance nutrition category, the uptake of pre-workouts is rising, seeing an impressive 34% growth over a single year.

Protein Supplies Australia offers high-quality, 100% natural supplements, including pre-workout options, with no additives or fillers. Appealing to a wide range of consumers, the products have a great taste, and the bold packaging stands out on shelves.

The vegan, no-nasties range from Botanika Blends includes two caffeine-free pre-workout products. Both are clean, natural and effective with innovative flavours.

Macro Mike, Happy Way Macro Mike, Happy Way
Macro Mike, Happy Way

Protein water

Sports protein drinks – such as protein water – are the fastest-growing category in the functional drinks market. This is an emerging category with further growth potential for consumers seeking to increase their protein intake while also staying hydrated.

Macro Mike Plant Protein Water is a light and refreshing option with added vitamin B, vitamin C and amino acids. Naturally flavoured and sweetened, the range is also gut-friendly.

With 20g of protein per serve, Happy Way Protein Water is vegan-friendly and 100% natural. The products also contain added electrolytes, tapping into another functional beverage trend for hydration.

Eden Healthfoods, Amazonia Eden Healthfoods, Amazonia
Eden Healthfoods, Amazonia

Clean ingredients

Research has shown that consumers care about the ingredients they’re consuming in food and drink products, with 67% researching ingredients all or most of the time. This trend towards clean isn’t specific to protein and sports nutrition but reflects a general trend towards clean ingredient lists and transparent labelling.

The Amazonia protein range is made with plant-based, wholefood ingredients. The products are Australian Certified Organic and contain no synthetic or artificial ingredients, no GMOs and no dairy.

Eden Healthfoods uses certified organic ingredients in their raw state to maintain their quality. The result is clean, digestive-friendly, high-protein supplements with a smooth and creamy texture.

Order online or via our sales team at 1800 787 904. Alternatively, register for a wholesale account here.


Sources: 1. Grocery scan data MAT $ YOY to 02/04/2024; 2. Grocery scan data MAT $ YOY to 23/01/2024

In recent years sports nutrition has pushed into the mainstream.1 It's no longer just for building muscle. Consumers look to sports nutrition to support their proactive approach to health maintenance and better-for-you options to enhance their active lifestyles.2

As an industry, sports nutrition is booming. Globally it's a market worth more than 55 billion AUD with a predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5%.3 With the increasing expansion to a broader consumer category, retailers have never had a better time to capitalise.

We've identified four sports nutrition trends driven by consumer demand and preferences,so you can make the most of the opportunities in the market. 

Sports nutrition trends - flavour innovation

Flavour innovation

Traditionally, sports nutrition products are chosen for their efficacy over other considerations. But with the uptake in adoption by lifestyle consumers, the flavour is increasingly important. It's important to 41% of consumers, coming in third behind health and cost considerations.4

While chocolate and vanilla flavours remain go-to favourites, more and more consumers are reaching for innovative flavour combinations and new tastes. 

From the trending to the nostalgic and mouthwateringly enticing, here's just a sample of the exciting flavour innovations you can offer your customers from a selection of leading brands:

Sports nutrition trends - plant-based protein

Plant-based protein

In an analysis of Amazon sales data, plant-based protein powder was revealed to have a 25% market share (second behind whey protein powder at 50%), but with 39% year-over-year (YoY) growth, it was the fastest-growing segment.5

This follows a general dietary trend towards plant-based eating, with 73% of global consumers saying they eat less meat as a healthier option. 26% of people also now identify as flexitarian.6

What are your customers' options for tasty plant-based proteins? These top-selling brands are the place to start:

  • Macro Mike offers both Peanut and Almond proteins with a recent re-formulation to enhance the products and taste even further. 
  • In the protein snack bar market, CLIF Bar is a leader with only plant-based ingredients and plant-based protein used across a range. 
  • Essential Hemp offers an innovative protein powder alternative made from hemp protein. 
Sports nutrition trends - pre-workout supplements

Pre-workout supplements

Protein isn't the only thing booming. The uptake of pre-workout supplements as a sports nutrition trend is also rising. In the Amazon analysis, sales of sports nutrition supplements, including pre and post-workout supplements, saw YoY growth of 41%. In this sub-category, pre-workout supplements lead the way with a market share of 65% and YoY growth of 45%.5

Pre-workout supplements are designed to help boost energy and performance to maximise a workout. The rise in these supplements comes back to consumers looking for products and nutrition to help them stay active.

For premium, natural pre-workout supplements to stock your shelves, look to brands and products like:

Sports nutrition trends - clean ingredients

Clean ingredients

Research has shown that consumers who haven't yet used sports nutrition products are sceptical of the benefits of the products.6 It's not just clean ingredients that are important. Transparency around ingredients and sustainability is also key.

This is another of the sports nutrition trends influenced by broader consumer preferences with increasing demands for clear labelling and natural ingredients.7

Give your customers clean sports nutrition alternatives with these popular brands:

  • Happy Way sports nutrition products are made with natural and organic ingredients and are free from preservatives, artificial sweeteners and flavours. 
  • One of the core food values of the CLIF Bar brand is about prioritising people and the planet by using organic ingredients and proudly supporting sustainable agriculture.
  • There are no artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives in the Botanika Blends range of Plant Protein Powders. 

At Unique Health Products, we proudly make it easier for you to do business. If you're ready to capitalise on these sports nutrition trends, we have a huge range of top-selling brands and products to add to your shelves. Shop online 24/7 or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you're a new Unique Health Products customer, you can register your account here.


1. Nutritional Outlook, 2020.

2. FMCG Gurus, 2020.

3. Grandview Research, 2022.

4. Innova Market Insights, 2021.

5. ClearCut, 2021.

6. Nutraingredients, 2019.

7. FMCG Gurus, 2021.

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