Swisse branched into the active nutrition space in Australia with its sub-brand Swiss Active at the end of 2022, and discovered during its initial consumer research phase that there is a strong necessity to make a differentiation between sports nutrition and active nutrition product presentation to consumers.
“Sports nutrition products are targeted at athletes that build their day around an exercise routine, [whereas] active nutrition is for the everyday consumer that does more or less the opposite by trying to fit exercise into their busy daily routines,” H&H Group External Innovation and Partnering Director Angela Brady told the floor at the recent Growth Asia Summit 2023 in Singapore.
“So sports nutrition products will rightly need to focus on protein and can come in huge bottles, but for the everyday consumer they will want products that can be more easily slot into their daily routines and carried around in their bags.
“The focus for this must be all about convenience, and also have more guidance made available as these are not professional athletes and will need to be able to use these products as easily as possible.”
The Swisse Active range covers three target stages throughout an exercise routine of Preparation, Performance and Recovery, containing ingredients targeted at maximising the impact and potential for consumers at each stage.
“The default product format we chose was powder sticks, as our data showed that older consumers tend to prefer more traditional product formats such as capsules and tablets, whereas younger consumers want newer formats such as gummies,” she added.
“Powder sticks was selected as a compromise of sorts to appeal to both demographics, familiar enough for older consumers to accept yet not so traditional that younger consumers would turn away.
“But in order to keep things interesting, we have also developed a unique pop rocks format which is pretty novel in the market.”
According to this data, capsules were the most-preferred supplement format for consumers aged above 45 in Australia with 57% preferring this, followed by powders at 56%, liquids at 55%, and tablets at 53%; whereas consumers below this age showed a preference for chewable capsules at 65%, chewable gummies and effervescents at 58% each, and powders at 44%.
Another key area of note is that protein no longer features as the star ingredient in this active nutrition range, but the firm has instead opted to highlight crucial ingredients with specific functional purposes for each stage.
“For example, the Preparation product is for consumers to prepare for their workout and have sustained energy throughout so the formulation contains B vitamins that play a crucial role in mitochondrial energy production to maximise this,” she said.
“Then for the Performance product the focus is on ingredients such as beetroot extract with nitrates to reduce fatigue and keep them going throughout the actual workout, and for the Recovery the focus is on branch chain amino acids (BCAA) to aid muscle recovery by promoting protein synthesis and downregulating protein degradation.”
Some sugar still needed
The Swisse Active range features claims such as no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners, being vegan and gluten-free, as well as being low in sugar.
“We went with this being low sugar and not no sugar, as there is still a need for some glucose in the Preparation stage – this is essential to generate the component pyruvate which then kickstarts the citric acid cycle in the muscles,” Brady added.
“This means that pyruvate is crucial in the process to generate the molecule ATP and this is the major component for energy production.”