A guest article from our nutrition partners, myprotein.co.uk.
The Economics Of Sports Nutrition
In this harsh economic climate, it seems it’s not the latest fat loss pill or miracle muscle building powder that customers are concerned with but rather the economics of sports nutrition, or put more simply ‘price’ and ‘quality.’ Looking at the rising cost of global raw materials, higher transportation costs and dramatic economic growth in India and China, we explore the various economic factors and more importantly their effect on you, your wallet and your sports supplements.
Firstly, and generally speaking, all food is now more expensive, looking specifically at wheat and corn as an example ,both food staples have been hit hard for the past two years and experts believe it’s due to a combination of climate change, natural disasters and crop disease. ‘Eastern Europe has experienced severe drought for the past two years and has stopped exporting wheat altogether to ensure enough of a domestic supply. A disease called wheat rust UG99 has wiped out crops across Africa and is spreading to other wheat-producing countries at a rapid pace.’ (Investopedia US, 2011) Furthermore, corn is now being used to make ethanol, possibly a form of sustainable fuel, with acres of corn fields now being grown specifically to power your car and not fill your belly. This then has a knock on effect, since almost all industrialized meats are fed on corn, mainly because it is the cheapest feed available and so as the price of corn rises, so does the price of meat because of the higher input price.
Against this tough backdrop, the cost of sports supplements has also spiralled in the past two years, notably whey protein (the ingredient used in most sports protein drinks) not only because of the macro economic factors mentioned, but also due to the increasing demand from the booming sports nutrition sector which looks set to continue for years to come.
So what are customers saying? In a recent survey, Myprotein.com asked 4,554 customers what the most important factor was when buying sports nutrition, topping the list was ‘price’ with 49% of people stating this is mainly what they look for when buying sports supplements, that’s close to 1 in 2 people. This was slightly more than the 30% of people who stated ‘high quality products,’ 3 times more than the 15% who believed ‘taste’ was the main factor and more than 6 times the 8% of people who wanted ‘easy shopping online.’
Marketing Director at Myprotein.com Mark Coxhead says, ‘it seems the economic down turn has shifted peoples’ purchasing priorities. Now, more than ever, a far greater value is placed on true quality and value for money. Our company philosophy is to continually work with suppliers to reduce costs whilst using only the very finest quality ingredients. The fact that we are certified to ISO9001 by SGS, a UKAS accredited company, gives additional quality assurance for consumers”.
So is there light at the end of the tunnel? It seems there is, and it comes in the form of Myprotein.com. As the largest branded manufacturer of protein powders in the UK and with the added muscle of online retail giant The Hut Group (who they recently acquired Myprotein.com) they have gone against the ‘commercial grain’. They have used their bulk buying capabilities to demand even larger discounts from suppliers and sacrificed profit margins to bring the price down on their extensive range of sports supplements. All this at a time when the rest of the industry are increasing their prices. As of the 6th September, they’ve implemented price reductions across over a hundred products including some of their best-selling products like Impact Whey Isolate, Creatine Monohydrate and L Glutamine. What is more, the reductions are for exactly the same products, using the same premium grade ingredients.
For more information visit http://community.myprotein.com/content/major-price-reductions-myprotein-768/