The global sports nutritional supplements market is thriving, with its value estimated at $9.66 billion in 2022 and anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% to potentially reach $19.43 billion by 2029. The market is dynamic, with North America leading the pack at a value of $11.4 billion in 2021 and the United States being the primary destination for Italian exports in the sector. In Italy, the sports supplement market contributes to a larger €4.06 billion dietary supplement industry, growing by 7.5% from 2020 to 2021 and expected to hit €5 billion by 2025. The Italian sports supplement segment makes up 6.2% of the total market, albeit with a slight decrease from 7.8% in 2020. Consumer demand is diversifying, with interest in vegan, organic, and "clean label" products on the rise, and distribution channels expanding beyond pharmacies to include e-commerce, which saw a significant increase in sales, particularly for supplements which accounted for 49.8% of online pharmacy sales in 2023. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict leading to price increases in the producer and consumer indices, the market continues to see robust growth, signifying a strong consumer interest and an evolving market structure with increasing fragmentation and diversification.

Emerging Trends in the Italian Sports Supplement Market

In recent years, Italy has witnessed considerable growth in the sports supplement market, signaling a burgeoning demand among its population. The country, with its ever-expanding base of individuals engaging in varying intensities of sports, has become a fertile ground for the proliferation of nutritional aids designed to complement athletic endeavors. Approximately 16 million people, accounting for between 20 and 25 percent of the Italian population, demonstrate continuous sports engagement, creating a sizeable market for sports supplements. The growth trajectory of this market has been impressive, with estimates suggesting that Italy's domestic dietary supplement market soared by nearly 24 percent from 2017 to 2021, scaling up to a valuation of about €4 billion. This upward swing is anticipated to maintain momentum, potentially reaching €5 billion by 2025. Crucially, sports supplements constitute a significant segment of this market, making up more than 6 percent of the dietary supplement sales, although this represents a slight decrease from previous years. Drawing from in-depth consumer analysis, the average sports supplement consumer in Italy likely ranges between occasional sports practitioners consuming less than 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, to competitive athletes whose protein consumption needs may touch 1.8 grams per kilogram. The distribution of these consumers is not even across the country – the northeast regions show a higher inclination towards sports participation, implying a potentially higher demand for supplements in these areas. The sports supplement market is bolstered by several drivers, including a pronounced pursuit of health and physical well-being. Data reveals a rising commitment to sports and nutritional mindfulness, with preventive health measures and an increased focus on immunity gaining prominence, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The distribution of sports supplements has remained largely dominated by pharmacies, which hold an overwhelming majority of the market share at 61 percent. However, other channels such as parapharmacies, supermarkets, large retailers, and herbalist shops also contribute to the marketplace. Additionally, e-commerce has experienced profound growth with online sales of dietary supplements witnessing an astounding increase of over 170 percent from 2018 to 2022. On the regulatory front, sports supplements in Italy must adhere to the European Directive 2002/46/EC and other national regulations that enforce stringent standards on labeling, health claims, and manufacturing. These measures are geared to safeguard consumer interests by ensuring product quality and preventing misleading information. Market dynamics are experiencing a shift as the profile of sports supplement consumers expands beyond professional athletes to encompass a wider audience.

Leading Contenders on the Sports Supplement Chessboard

The industry of sports nutrition supplements is a dynamic and competitive arena, with several key players making strategic moves to cater to the burgeoning demand driven by a fitness-conscious demographic. In this energetic field, three companies distinctly position themselves with their unique approach, product lines, and market strategies.

Enervit Enervit stands as a veteran in the sports supplements market, renowned for its dedication to understanding and fulfilling the specific nutritional requirements of athletes. With a history dating back to 1976, Enervit's commitment to innovation is matched by its state-of-the-art production facilities such as the 4.0 plant in Erba. This facility exemplifies their forward-thinking philosophy with its cutting-edge production of functional bars that are both gluten-free and palm oil-free. The brand's sports nutrition portfolio includes the popular Enervit Sport and Enervit Protein lines, both of which are a testament to the company's intention to fuel athletic excellence without compromise.

Named Sport A relative newcomer compared to Enervit, Named Sport burst onto the scene in 2014, rapidly gaining attention for its innovative supplements designed to enhance athletic prowess. Named Sport was born out of a partnership with Named S.r.l., an Italian pharmaceutical entity with a sterling reputation in phytotherapy and Natural Medicine. Armed with a stringent commitment to the quality and provenance of its raw materials, Named Sport’s offerings bridge the gap between holistic wellness and peak physical performance, resonating with athletes who value natural, science-backed supplementation.

The Hut Group The Hut Group, often abbreviated as THG, has been a formidable force in the market for over 18 years. Their impressive portfolio encompasses a variety of brands tailored to the needs of fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes alike. THG's strategy encompasses a broad spectrum of wellness products that extend beyond mere sports nutrition, capturing the interest of a consumer base that is not only interested in supplements but also in holistic health and beauty solutions. Their expansive reach and ability to cater to a diverse clientele make them a heavyweight in the industry.


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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Sports supplements are food products intended to supplement the regular diet and are a concentrated source of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect.

The market for sports food supplements is constantly growing. This market is already well established in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, but also in emerging countries such as Brazil and China. In the past 5 years, the global market has grown by nearly $5 billion.

In Italy, too, there has been considerable growth year after year. Indeed, there are a wide range of products and many different brands in this segment.

Professionals have different opinions about these products. They generally recommend their use only if necessary and in certain doses. In Italy, 32 million people used sports supplements in 2018, and this number is increasing year by year. In addition, the most widely used sales channel is pharmacies, accounting for 86 percent of total sales.

1.2 The global market

The global sports nutritional supplements market is experiencing unprecedented growth, which is expected to continue in the years to come. In ****, the value of the global market is estimated at $*.** billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of **.*% over the next * years. In ****, the market value could ...

1.3 The Italian market

The Italian dietary supplement market is worth about €*.** billion in ****, +**.*% compared to **** and +*.*% compared to ****. A compound annual growth rate (***) of *.*% is expected between **** and ****, thanks to which the market value could touch €* billion in value in ****. Value of dietary supplements Italy, ****-****in billion € FederSalus The main market areas by ...

1.4 Imports and exports

Using the UN Comtrade database, it is complicated to study sports food supplements as a whole because this segment includes a wide variety of products classified under different customs codes. However, it is possible to analyze a part of it and observe, for example, the trade in vitamins and provitamins that ...

1.5 The impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict

The outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in February **** led to, among other things, a general increase in the producer price index. This increase also affected the dietary supplements sector. Through analysis of the producer price index for the other food products sector (***), within which dietary supplements fall, an increase of ** points ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Overview of demand

The demand for dietary supplements has been growing steadily for years, and the sports segment is no exception. The growing number of people interested in a healthy and sporty lifestyle has fostered demand for products that accompany and facilitate motor activity, such as energizers, proteins, and tonics.

As for ****, in the ...

2.2 Consumer profile

The profile of the average sports supplement consumer can be identified by analyzing a series of data regarding the dietary needs of people who practice sports and the demographic characteristics of this segment of the population.

In fact, a person practicing sports occasionally needs less than one gram of protein per ...

2.3 Drivers of demand for sports supplements

The market for sports supplements is closely linked to people's sports habits and their attention to issues of health and physical well-being, including nutrition.


Between **** and ****, the number of people practicing sports in Italy has increased steadily: over a *-year period, there has been an increase of more than *.* million ...

2.4 Demand trends: plant based and clean label

According to a survey conducted by AICS, the Italian Sports Culture Association, the plant-based diet trend is gaining popularity in the world of athletes. This is a "plant-based" diet, which favors the choice of natural foods, not industrially processed, and preferably zero-mile. The survey found that out of a total of ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Structure of the supplement market

Until the beginning of the **st century, the dietary supplement market had a well-defined structure. The largest share was in the hands of a few international players - e.g. Pfizer, Bayer, Sanofi - although a considerable part was held by Italian manufacturers - e.g. Aboca, Alfasigma. Recently, radical transformations ...

3.2 Value chain

The value chain of supplements, including the most suitable supplements for sports, is summarized in the diagram below.

First, ingredient suppliers produce the raw materials, that is, the nutrients, but also the flavorings or colorings that will make up the dietary supplements.

Manufacturers use these ingredients to make dietary supplements. There ...

3.3 Distribution

Despite the increasing proliferation of distribution channels, leadership seems to remain in the hands of pharmacies. The latter continue to account for an extremely large share of the market. [***]

Business to Business

Production and manufacturing take place in another company, which at a later stage, once the product is complete, sells ...

3.4 Main market players

Market leaders

Enervit: Founded in ****, the company is focused on understanding the real nutritional needs of athletes. The in-house approach involves production at the *.* plant in Erba, a state-of-the-art hub for the production of gluten-free and palm oil-free functional bars, and at the historic plant in Zelbio. Today the company has ...

3.5 Market barriers: regulation and security

The world of sports supplements is very complicated and often only partially based on science. These products are, in fact, subject to often misleading advertisements and ads that directly link their use to the possibility of achieving maximum results in sports. This is not only not true,but can lead people ...

4 Supply analysis

4.1 Overview of the offer

The types of sports supplements

These are dietary supplements designed and intended for athletes. Specific food supplements for different nutritional needs in various sports: The most commonly used nutritional elements commonly used as food supplements for sports are:

proteins, amino acids carbohydrates, creatine minerals vitamins

Recently, in addition, other types of ...

4.2 Prices

Dietary supplements and sports products cover wide price ranges that can meet everyone's needs. In general, however, when choosing a dietary supplement or sports product, one must consider the concentration, daily dose, and duration of supplementation. In fact, supplements also differ in how they are used and how often they are ...

4.3 The student segment

A new target audience has developed in recent years in the supplement market: the Millennials, or young people who are between the ages of ** and **. They are interested in healthy food, health, and green issues, and precisely because of their characteristics and buying habits they therefore constitute an attractive target ...

4.4 New supply trends

Evolving consumer base

the number of people who participate in sports without being professionals has been increasing for years. This has had a direct consequence on the consumer base of the sports supplement market: the use of sports supplements has expanded to become a real active lifestyle trend.

In fact, sports ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Market regulation

Food supplements are regulated by Directive ****/**/EC, implemented in Italy by Dlg ***/****, and by additional national regulations issued by the Ministry of Health. Like all food products, supplements must also comply with European regulations on additives, contaminants, pesticide and veterinary drug residues, hygiene, novel foods, claims, and labeling. Below is a ...

6 Positioning of actors

6.1 Segmentation

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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Muscle Pharm
Multipower Online
My Protein (The Hut Group)
Amazon Italia

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