Vitafoods Europe teams up with ESSNA to tackle sports nutrition challenges

Vitafoods Europe is teaming up with the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) to provide greater support for companies in the booming sports nutrition sector.

Dr Adam Carey

The announcement of an official partnership at this year’s event (9-11 May, Palexpo, Geneva) comes as the head of ESSNA welcomes the opportunities created by a recent regulatory win, but warns of serious challenges ahead.

In June 2016, after years of uncertainty, the EU finally declared that there was no need for specific sports nutrition regulation, and that sports foods could be covered by General Foods Law provisions.

Although welcomed by the industry, the landmark decision has created a range of new questions. To help address these, the Sports Nutrition Zone at this year’s event will offer dedicated regulatory advice on sports nutrition supplements. These one-to-one sessions will be provided by experts from ESSNA.

And in a panel discussion on Vitafoods Centre Stage, Dr Adam Carey, Chair of ESSNA, will talk about the future of sports nutrition in the wake of the decision.

Speaking ahead of the event, Dr Carey said: “The EU’s decision followed 13 years of hard work and has left nutrition companies free to innovate exciting new products. But we face new challenges. Because regulation is now very broad, there is a risk that the specific needs of sportspeople will not be taken into account."

"One example is sodium – it’s an essential ingredient for many athletes, but regulators could be wary of approving a claim that seems to encourage people to consume more salt. These are major questions, and I welcome the opportunity to partner with Vitafoods Europe to help the industry tackle them.”

Also appearing on Vitafoods Centre Stage will be Stuart Shotton, Vice Chair of ESSNA and Head of Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs at MyProtein. He will present a half-day session explaining how the EC’s report will affect nutrition businesses.

Sports nutrition has been a significant success story in recent years. Last year, according to Euromonitor, the global market was worth $11.9 billion, and Europe saw growth of more than 12%.

Chris Lee, Managing Director, Global Health and Nutrition Network, Europe, Informa Exhibitions, said: “Sports nutrition is an increasingly important focus at Vitafoods Europe. With a growing segment of physically active consumers recognising the importance of nutrition to supplement what they do in the gym, it is becoming increasingly mainstream."

"Partnering with ESSNA is the ideal way for us to help visitors explore the growing opportunities in this dynamic sector.”

Visitors to Vitafoods Europe Sports Nutrition Zone will be able to talk to experts, see product showcases, sample the latest products at the Sampling Bar and learn more about industry trends via Infographics and iPad presentations.