Programme

The Sports Nutrition Congress will look at the opportunities in sports and active nutrition, offering insights into consumer understanding and marketing to millennials – including looking at the power of social media to connect to consumers in our ever digitalised world.

On the agenda this year are engaging sessions on modulating the microbiome for sports, a look at new science and nutritional ingredients for endurance, performance and recovery, a look at the growing importance of personalisation and how the growth of digital health and wearable devices is shaping the industry, in addition to top insights on elite level nutrition for world champions in both individual and team sports. Take a look at the day-by-day agenda or discover more with the buttons below.

Speakers Register now

Day 1 – Tuesday 25th September

Morning

08.30 – Registration

09.05 – What race are we running and are we going to win? How the global sports nutrition market is taking shape
Pia Ostermann, Beauty and Fashion Analyst, Euromonitor International

Sports nutrition is now firmly established as the fastest growing category within the global consumer health market, as athletes and non-athletes alike come to believe that its products can help meet their broader healthy living goals. This presentation looks at how the sports nutrition consumer is evolving and examines how successful the industry has been so far in targeting a wider universe of casual, non-athletic users.  In her state-of-the-nation address, Pia looks at how far sports nutrition has come and just how long a race it can run.  She’ll evaluate progress to date and identify the world-wide hot spots where market growth is fastest and most promising.

  • How far, how fast? Current rates of growth and how they’re expected to accelerate
  • High performers and promising new entrants – revealing the markets that offer the biggest growth opportunities
  • From peak performance to general health – how to win the non-athlete market without compromising the hard core sports addict
  • Flavour innovation – is this the key that will unlock the general market?

09.30 – How strangers shape a market.  Online customer reviews and their impact in sports nutrition
Tom Morgan, Market Analyst – Sports Nutrition, Lumina Intelligence

As consumers wade through a buffet of options when they purchase online, peer reviews act as compass for their buying intent. With sports nutrition products proliferating at a staggering rate it’s getting harder to get your brand noticed, to see where to head, and to find the key points of difference that capture customer attention. We’ve analysed granular data from reviews, from ingredients and the science behind them to build, from the bottom up, a picture of the sports nutrition world and how its customers buy.  Tom’s presentation describes the market, its customers and what drives their engagement and, vitally, what makes them leave a positive review.

  • The flavour of countries – which markets stand out strongest?
  • Ingredients and the growth of plant power – how plant proteins and botanicals are starting to take root
  • What a boost – newly emerging nitric oxide and pre-work out markets
  • Targeting matters – how a softer approach will stretch the market beyond its body builder heartland
  • Creating conversation – how to encourage, reward and use positive customer reviews

10.30 – Refreshments

11.00 – When tough guys get hurt.  The strategic and practical role of nutrition for recovery from injury in professional rugby
Daniel Davey, Senior Performance Nutritionist, Dublin Senior Football and Leinster Rugby

Professional rugby, perhaps the most physically demanding of any contact sport, needs its players to be strong, powerful and resilient.  Nevertheless, injuries, often of long duration, are common.  When they occur, coaches and managers want players back in shape fast.  Nutrition has become a critical element of recovery protocols designed to accelerate recovery. However, getting the best result means understanding the exact nature of the injury and developing the best nutritional strategy to support an elite athlete.  Based on his work with some of the game’s toughest players, Daniel explains the science behind the sports injury.

  • That hurts – common injuries in rugby, phases of treatment and typical recovery times
  • Getting better – developing nutritional strategies and helping players adapt
  • These work – proven supplements for specific sports injuries
  • Make me better – why tough players make tough patients and how they can be helped

11.30 – Gold medal nutrition

12.00 – Elite Sports Debate: Pushing nutritional boundaries

What does it take to be the best of the best – and how can nutrition help? From team sports like football (soccer) and rugby to Olympic events, these group of sessions will look to learnings from experts working with some of the best in the world, providing insights on the unique demands that elite sports provides – asking how the industry can better cater to these needs and whether manufacturers can target both the mass market and elite sports simultaneously.

Panellists include:
Daniel Davey, Senior Performance Nutritionist, Dublin Senior Football and Leinster Rugby
Professor Kieran Clarke, Professor of Physiological Biochemistry, University of Oxford

Afternoon

12.30 – Speed Networking
Grow your network with a series of four-minute meetings with your fellow attendees. Introduce yourself to a new contact every time you hear the signal and find out if you’ve got mutual interests that would make a subsequent, more in-depth meeting worthwhile.

13.15 – Roundtable lunches – discuss the issues that matter most to you
Tables will be hosted by an expert from industry or academia who will lead an informal discussion on an industry hot topic. Join the table that suits you best, subject to availability.

14.15 – Dessert and coffee

14.45 – Mutual recognition for mutual benefit – how the European Commission plans to ease the way for intra-Europe trade in sports nutrition products
Andreea Pantazi, Legal Officer, European Commission

15.15 – Regulatory Debate: Mutual Recognition

These sessions will explore issues of regulation and compliance in the supply chain and how issues of mutual recognition in Europe are impacting the industry. Exploring how international online sales platforms are changing the game in both areas, the sessions will focus on how retailers and manufacturers are managing supply chain challenges, and the barriers for sports nutrition companies looking to sell in other European countries, and what can be done to overcome these barriers.

Panellists include:
Andreea Pantazi, Legal Officer, European Commission
Claudia Mucciardi, Vice-Chair, European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA)

15.45 – Whose helping with health claims?   The vexed relationship between EFSA, the EC and industry
Katia Merten-Lentz, Partner, Keller and Heckman

Sports-oriented consumers are more demanding than most when it comes to the clarity and reliability of the health claims made for the products they buy – which means it’s in the industry’s interests to be rigorous.  The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been accused by many of taking a hard stance on health claim authorisation, yet it claims to be merely following the lead of EU regulators, who demand the highest standards of scientific assessment. Whose really there to help industry?  Katia’s presentation assesses the relationship between EFSA, the EU and sports food manufacturers and considers whether there needs to be a specific regulatory framework for sports food or whether general EU food law will suffice.

  • What we want – how will the EU respond to the industry’s demand for a sports related regulatory framework?
  • Recognising benefits – will EFSA’s confirmation of the health benefits of glycaemic carbohydrates encourage an adaptation of the current regulatory framework?
  • Stalling innovation – as the number of health claim approvals decreases, might companies cancel investments in health related R&D?
  • Fat, sugar and salt – will consumer opinion, voiced by NGOs, drive the European Commission to take action
  • Working effectively – how can EFSA help organisations work with and influence EU policy makers?

16.15 – Refreshments

16.45 – TRAILBLAZERS SESSION: Innovation & Investment Debate

Innovations and start-up companies can come in many shapes and forms. In this session we will meet a selection of entrepreneurial start-ups presenting their innovations and mould-breaking approaches to the sports and active nutrition market. Together with expert innovators and investors our Trailblazers will discuss the consumer trends and technologies they are tapping into and shine a spotlight on some of the opportunities (and pitfalls) that are out there.

Panellists include:
João Gonçalo Cunha, Co-founder & CEO, KickUp Sports Accelerator
Alex Zurita, Specialist Adviser, London Sport (Sport Tech Hub)

Robert Walker, CEO, SCI-MX Nutrition

17.30 – TRAILBLAZER SESSION: Meet the Trailblazers

Isaac Nutrition

Evening

Networking reception

Day 2 – Wednesday 26th September

Morning

9.25 – Chair’s re-cap of Day 2 and welcome back

09.30 – The cost of non-compliance – why everyone loses when companies miss the mark
Luca Bucchini, Vice-Chair, European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA)

The EU imposes strict rule to ensure consumers can confidently access safe, high quality sports nutrition products. Companies that inadvertently bring non-compliant products to market – either because they don’t know or fail to understand the regulation – court reputational damage and even business failure. Others may suffer too. Consumer safety could be compromised and the competitiveness of compliant companies damaged, as confidence, among consumer and policy makers alike, is compromised.  Luca’s presentation reveals the startling extent of non-compliance and challenges the industry at large to tackle it.

  • How serious is it? The extent of non-compliance and the industry-wide threat it poses
  • What’s the score? How a high-growth industry can be stalled by non-compliance
  • Whose problem is it? Why the industry has to take action – and how
  • The direction of travel. How regulation is evolving – and how to keep pace

10.00 – Tackling non-compliance – The EC perspective
Filippo Abruzzo, Policy Coordinator, European Commission

10.30 – Refreshments

11.00 – Panel Debate: Image issues – What can be done to clean up the image of sports nutrition

These sessions will look in detail at key issues impacting the wider perception of the category, addressing issues of non-compliance, false advertising, doping and spiking. With doping, spiking, and other non-compliance issues consistently in the headlines, and sports nutrition regularly bearing the brunt of ‘blame’ for athlete bans, this session asks how big the problem really is, and what can be done about it. From better engagement and education, to improved compliance and certification, how can the sports nutrition reputation be improved by stamping out rogue players intent on poor practices including adulteration, spiking and false advertising.

Panellists include:
John Brewer, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Applied Sports Science, St Mary’s University, London
John Travis, Senior Research Scientist, NSF International

Luca Bucchini, Vice-Chair, European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA)

11.45 – Brexit is coming. Opportunities, threats, likely scenarios and options for engagement
Viviana Spaghetti, Senior Political Consultant, The Whitehouse Consultancy

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU is one of the biggest uncertainties facing sports nutrition businesses today. At the end of a frenetic summer of negotiation between the EU and the UK government, public affairs specialist Viviana Spaghetti offers up-to-the-minute insights on progress towards D(eparture) Day, 29 March 2019. What will be the terms of the UK withdrawal from the EU? What will the future trade agreement between the UK and the EU – and with third countries – look like? What will be the impact of Britain’s departure on the movement of labour and goods?  This presentation eschews the daily Brexit froth served up by the media to give a balanced assessment of progress towards a new Europe and how businesses will operate within it.

  • On track or off the rails. How likely is it that the EU and UK will conclude a trade deal that avoids tariffs and bureaucracy at borders?
  • Common standards or open season. Will food safety standards, labelling provisions and rules on nutrition and health claims come closer or diverge?
  • Surviving or thriving. Are there opportunities as well as risks and how can you grasp them?
  • Part of the solution.  How can sports nutrition businesses engage to influence this process and the rules in a new market and policy environment?

Afternoon

12.45 Networking lunch

13.15 – The diet, exercise and gut microbiome paradigm
Dr Orla O’Sullivan, Senior Computational Biologist, Teagasc Food Research Centre and APC Microbiome, Ireland

It has long been known that the human body is host to myriad of microbes that impact various aspects of health. Research by the APC Microbiome Institute and Teagasc reveals significant differences in the gut microbiome of elite athletes and the non-athletic population, which suggest that the microbiome is a major player in the relationship between exercise and health. Orla’s review of the research findings will examine the relationship between the microbiome, exercise and good health, and what it means for an industry that’s striving to develop nutritional products that will enhance athletic performance.

  • What we can learn from rugby players – what is driving their microbial diversity?
  • What about the rest of us?  How the average microbiome compares to that of the elite athlete and can we train our microbiome.
  • Implications for industry – developing products that impact athletic gut health

14.15- Panel Debate: Personalisation and the digital revolution

Big data, wearable technology, personalised analysis, and the digital shopping revolution are all providing huge opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs looking to innovate in the sports and active nutrition area. From the use of personalised analysis in elite level sports to the use of wearable devices and app-based health trackers to provide better dietary recommendations, and a consumer desire to get ‘for me’ products delivered to their door, this session will look at some of the key trends and innovations in the digital and personalised space. Our panel of experts will discuss the recent technology explosion to identify what’s capturing and holding consumer interest most powerfully and discuss what the industry’s reaction should be – how businesses should engage with this revolution, and how it will impact the products they sell.

Panellists include:
Andrew Steele, Head of Product Development, DNAFit
Prof Yannis Pitsiladis, Professor of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Brighton

15.00 – Closing remarks and look to the future

Departures