With no signs of Americans’ commitment to working on their fitness waning, we were keen to understand the key drivers for purchasing foods & beverages to help fuel their workouts. To obtain these insights and also learn more about brand loyalty and perceptions of specific brands, we recently surveyed verified purchasers of protein bars & shakes and sports performance & vitamin enhanced drinks.

When it comes to protein bars, powders, and shakes, the high protein content (66%) holds the most sway in purchase decisions, followed by being easy to take on the go, having a low sugar content and/or being shelf stable.  

Despite having positive perceptions of various brands within the category, just 30% tend to stick to the same brand each time, while 70% are open to trying new brands.

Turning to sports performance/vitamin enhanced drinks, the hydration benefits and being enhanced with electrolytes are most pivotal in the decision to purchase.

Gatorade or Powerade? Our members say Gatorade, with 83% rating it “excellent” or “very good” and Powerade following at 72%. Secondarily, six-in-ten give high marks to Smartwater, Propel and/or Vitaminwater. 

As with protein bars and shakes, when it comes to choosing which brands to purchase, the majority of sports performance drink buyers (65%) aren’t loyal to one specific brand.

Looking to reach shoppers pre or post purchase? We’d love to be of assistance!


Bess Devenow

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