Sports Nutrition in the U.S. provides market opportunity for Peruvian Super-Foods

Camu camu

Camu camu

According to the Peru Trade,Tourism and Investment Office in Washington, DC – OCEX, a market that is currently growing at a high rate in the United States is that of sports nutrition products, aimed at consumers who have an active lifestyle.

According to Euromonitor, the market for sports nutrition products in the U.S. exceeded $16 billion in 2015 in sales of cereal bars, protein powders and nutritious pills & drinks.

Previous research indicates that this market will continue growing steadily and sales are expected to reach $20 billion by the year 2020.

Peruvian exporters should take into account the potential of this sector, as they carry a large supply of superfoods that could be well received by the American market.

Within this niche market, the product that generates the most sales is the protein mixable powder for beverages, such as whey powder. These are typically combined with other minerals and vitamins to use in shakes or smoothies.

Protein powders are an integral part of the modern exercise routine. Normally, these products are consumed before exercising, in order to provide energy and resistance, or immediately afterwards, for recovery of the body and to support the growth of muscle mass. These powders represent sales of approximately $5 billion annually, an amount that is expected to grow aggressively within the next few years.

Peruvian Super Foods
A great opportunity has been presented for Peruvian exporters to promote the known benefits of native products that could be added as complementary ingredients or even as a healthier and high-performance alternative.

Some questions that arise are in regards to which products are most valuable to U.S. consumers for their natural content and nutritional value, and what ingredients and combinations should be included in the labels of these products.

Some examples of Peruvian plant native products are: kiwicha, purple corn, maca and aguaymanto (golden berry). Kiwicha is a superfood that can supply the protein profile that the average individual requires. Purple corn carries high antioxidant content, protects against cardiovascular disease, lowers blood pressure and helps control blood sugar levels. Maca, a plant from the highlands of Peru, increases energy levels, raises the resistance and mental clarity of athletes and fights physical as well as mental fatigue. And, aguaymanto has proven to be high in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and diuretic properties.  These products can be sold fresh or in other forms, including powder.

In addition, there are other ingredients available that could be considered beneficial to athletes, including cocoa, yacon, lucuma, cat's claw, sacha inchi, arracacha and green coffee, all of which offer a wide range of benefits valued by athletes.

Because most US buyers are unaware of natural and exotic ingredients such as camu-camu, aguaymanto, yacon, maca and kiwicha, it is important to maximize and promote said products through publications and campaigns. This is to ensure that the consumer is aware of the aforementioned benefits of these Peruvian superfoods and that these are present in their everyday preferences, especially, active people with healthy lifestyles.

Including new products and ingredients within the diet of the consumer requires patience and different marketing resources as it is a gradual process, but over time, consumers will continue learning all about what Peruvian products have to offer. Several famous publications such as Men's Health, Men's Journal and Huffington Post have published different articles highlighting the benefits of Peruvian native products, such as camu-camu, maca and others, generating interest in Peru and all its nutritional, native products can offer.

OCEX Washington, DC