From fitness to health: how dietary preferences shape the market for supplements and functional products

MARKET TREND | 18 April 2024

Modern dietary preferences are more varied than ever, reflecting a growing awareness of the importance of nutrition for health and well-being. This is driving more and more people to adopt targeted diets, which in turn are shaping demand for supplements and functional foods.

Dietary varieties: trends and impacts

The protein supplement industry has historically been associated primarily with fitness enthusiasts and athletes seeking increased muscle performance and recovery. However, in recent years, the landscape of dietary preferences has expanded significantly, with an increase in the number of people adopting specific diets for ethical, environmental, or health reasons.

1. Weight control diets:

The rise in obesity and related diseases has generated a growing demand for weight control products. Fiber, glucomannan, chitosan, caffeine, and green tea supplements, along with low-calorie, high-protein foods, have become popular among those seeking solutions to manage their weight effectively and sustainably. Products such as low-carb protein bars and sugar-free protein powders have gained popularity among those seeking to reduce carbohydrate intake without compromising protein intake.

2. Vegan and vegetarian diets:

Vegan and vegetarian diets have gained popularity for their positive environmental and health implications. The growing adoption of vegan and vegetarian diets has led to increased demand for protein supplements made from plant sources (peas, rice, hemp, and soybeans), as well as increased demand for supplements of vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and omega-3, nutrients often lacking in these diets.

3. Diets for allergies and intolerances:

The rise of food allergies, such as celiac disease and lactose intolerance, has generated a growing demand for allergen-free products. Gluten-free pasta and bread, lactose-free milk and yogurt, along with digestive enzyme supplements, have become an integral part of the market to meet the specific needs of consumers with these conditions.

4. Diets for athletes:

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts require specific nutritional intake to support their performance and muscle recovery. Demand for protein, amino acid, creatine, vitamin, and mineral supplements is growing steadily as these products aim to optimize sports performance and support the muscular and overall health of active individuals. These market-driving diets directly influence product offerings in the supplement and functional foods industry, underscoring the importance for companies in the industry to adapt to changing consumer needs and offer innovative, targeted nutritional solutions.

Beyond diets: food styles as a key factor

In the context of the functional foods and dietary supplements industry, it is crucial to consider not only specific diets, but also the broader food styles that influence consumer choices. The increasing focus on healthy and balanced eating has given rise to a growing demand for products that offer comprehensive nutritional support for those seeking to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

This implies a growing demand for products such as multivitamins, which provide a wide range of essential nutrients in a single dose. These supplements aim to fill any gaps in the diet and ensure that the body receives all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function optimally.

At the same time, increased interest in gut health has led to a growing demand for probiotic products. These supplements contain strains of beneficial bacteria that support gut flora and promote better digestion and overall health. Because of their ability to improve the balance of gut flora, probiotics are becoming increasingly popular among those seeking to optimize their digestive and overall health.

In addition, there is growing interest in mineral supplements, which are designed to provide essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc. These minerals play a key role in a wide range of biological functions, including bone health, muscle function, and the immune system. Mineral supplements can be particularly useful for those on restrictive diets or those who need additional nutrient intake to meet their specific needs.

In conclusion, in addition to specific diets, more general eating styles play a significant role in shaping the market for supplements and functional foods. The growing demand for products that offer comprehensive nutritional support reflects the increasing importance that consumers place on health and wellness.

The influence of consumers and market factors

Consumers’ dietary preferences directly influence the market for protein supplements and functional foods. Factors influencing consumer choices include sensory appeal, brand, convenience, price, and environmental concerns. In addition, market growth is fueled by the spread of chronic diseases, consumer health awareness, and the desire for a healthier diet.

Consumer awareness of the correlation between health and nutrition, along with advances in food technology and nutrition science, further contribute to the growing demand for functional foods. Consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for foods that contribute to better health further underscores the impact of dietary preferences on the market for protein supplements and functional foods.

A search for wellness

The dietary supplement and functional food industry is not just about tastes and preferences; it is about wellness. With the growing awareness of the correlation between nutrition and health, consumers are increasingly attentive to the ingredients and formulas of the products they choose.

Advances in food technology and nutrition science have paved the way for a new generation of functional foods, offering innovative solutions for a wide range of dietary needs. From probiotic-enriched beverages to high-protein meal replacements, the industry is constantly looking for ways to improve consumers’ lives through food.


The combination of changing food preferences, health awareness, and advances in food technology is driving a growing demand for protein supplements and functional foods that meet the needs and tastes of modern consumers. From plant-based proteins for followers of vegan and vegetarian diets to low-carb protein bars for those following specific dietary regimens, the market offers a wide variety of options for every lifestyle and dietary preference. This diversity continues to drive innovation in the industry, enabling consumers to make informed choices and maintain a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Discover opportunities with 13:e Protein!

If you are interested in further exploring opportunities in the functional foods and dietary supplements industry, contact us today! We are here to offer advice and support to develop tailored products that meet the needs of your brand and your customers.


1. Springer Link, Functional Foods and Protein Supplementation,
2. National Library of Medicine, Consumer Acceptance toward Functional Foods: A Scoping Review,
3. Markets and Markets, Functional Protein Market,

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