On 15 June 2016 the European Commission published its report on food intended for sportspeople.
In sum the Commission came to the conclusion that there is no necessity for specific provisions for food intended for sportspeople. The horizontal rules of food law provide the necessary safeguards for these products in terms of food safety, food composition, consumer information and legal certainty.
In this context the European Commission argues that people carrying out sports activity can hardly be characterised as a specific vulnerable group of consumers but rather as a target group of the general population who is protected at an appropriate level by horizontal legislation.
Nevertheless, sports food may include some element of specificity and the analysis in this report shows that this may have to be taken into account by the Commission in the application and implementation of the horizontal rules, so that such specificities can be adequately addressed. The Commission will ensure proper application of horizontal legislation and monitor the developments after 20 July 2016.
The EU wide market for sports nutrition and drinks was worth €3.07 billion (retail value) in 2014. The market for sports food at EU level has grown by 11.2% between 2009 and 2014, equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of 2.2%. This growth has mainly been driven by protein-based products, which grew by 68% over the period. Energy and performance boosting products grew by 54% while sports drinks shrank by 8%.
The number of sports food products present in the market can be estimated, on the basis of the innovation rate at EU level, to between approximately 20,000 and 30,000 with the highest number of products in the category of the protein-based sports food. In terms of market value in the EU, 61% of all sports food belongs to the category of sports drinks, 26% to protein based products and 13% to energy and performance boosting products.
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