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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.
• Market Drivers and Consumer Understanding: This session will look at how consumers understand and relate to sports nutrition, and will look at the key consumer trends driving the market and how evolving consumer demographics are shifting the category.
• Product design insights: How are companies approaching NPD and innovation in this rapidly changing market? From looking at new formats and delivery systems to innovative packaging this session will discuss the product design process and explore new avenues for innovation and development.
• 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.
• Health claims – Lessons from EFSA and the EC: Can the industry learn to love the health claims process? This session will explore the role of EFSA and the EC in the claims process, and look at key issues in the submission and approval process in addition to looking at the enforcement of claims in advertising and on-pack – and just how much claims matter to the consumer anyway.
• Image issues – The reputation and perception of sports nutrition: This session 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.
• Gold medal nutrition – Insights from elite sports: 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.
• Brexit debate: How will the imminent departure of the UK from the European Union impact the sports nutrition market in both regions? With so much inter-connectedness and inter-dependency in the industry, this session will look at different scenarios for exit and examine the challenges and opportunities that Brexit may bring for sports nutrition companies in the UK and in Europe.
• Innovation & Trailblazers: 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.
• Scientific focus on endurance, performance and recovery: Pushing the boundaries of nutritional science to aid endurance, boost sports performance or enhance recovery can make the vital difference between winning and coming in the middle of the pack. With so much at stake for elite athletes, and a growing desire to adopt elite practises even in amateur setups, these sessions will explore the latest science behind established and emerging ingredients and nutritional practices.
• Bacterial boosts – The microbiome and sports: The recent explosion of interest in gut health and the microbiome has thrown up an immense amount of science relating to our gut bacteria and health. One area tipped for huge growth is in the validation of science linking our bacterial ecosystems to sports performance and recovery. In this session we will look at some of the emerging science linking probiotics, prebiotics and bacterial populations within the body to better sports performance – and ask how nutrition targeting the microbiome could provide new benefits for the market.
• The power and importance of social media: This session will look at the changing use of the internet and social media – focusing in particular on how social influencers and online fitness gurus are connecting with consumers, and how these relationships are fast becoming of huge importance for both marketing and developing sports and active nutrition products.
• Barriers to selling – Supply chain and mutual recognition: This session 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.