MaxiNutrition bars

GSK is launching MaxiNutrition protein bars

GSK is looking to take its sports brand, MaxiNutrition, into the mainstream with the launch of a new protein snack bar.   

The MaxiNutrition Protein Bar, which comes in chocolate caramel and a biscuit-based strawberry and yoghurt bar (rsp: £1.79/45g), will be positioned as a convenient and healthier snack option. This marks a departure for the brand which previously targeted athletes and body builders. 

The launch will be supported by its £5m ‘You, stronger’ campaign, which rolled out in March, along with sampling and in-store activity.

It is aiming to add £35m to the overall category – which is worth £300m [Nielsen MAT 14/9/13] – by attracting 5% of people who exercise regularly into the category.

“We want to establish protein nutrition as an everyday staple and make it relevant to a wider audience,” GSK’s consumer healthcare marketing director Rachel Deans said. “The category is in its infancy so we want to accelerate growth, by changing people’s perception from body building to everyday exercise in a fresh and approachable way.”

“The days of picking up a Mars bar and a can of Coke are numbered,” category director Sean Barry added.

The global sports nutrition market is currently worth £58bn globally, but this is forecast to double over the next five years [Forecast – Euromonitor]. Category penetration is only 2% in the UK, but GSK is confident the UK could follow the US market, where 37% of households buy into the category. Growth is being driven by RTDs, up 305% and bars, up 36% [Total coverage MAT to 1/2/14]

GSK argues that although macro-trends for healthy eating and on-the-go convenience are key to unlocking market growth, consumers need better education on the benefits of protein, and the fixture needs to be more clearly segmented and easier to shop. It has been working with two retailers to trial a more “accessible” sports nutrition fixture since the end of last year, including better signposting, POS materials, colour coding by goal, and dual-siting for bars in the snacking aisle and RTD in chillers. Early indications have been “very positive”, Barry said.

The company has also launched an RTD milk drink with creatine which it claims is the first time creatine has been available in a RTD format. The MaxiNutrition Cyclone Milk, which took two years to develop, is based on its best-selling MaxiNutrition Cyclone powder and contains 30g of protein and 3g creatine to improve the recovery time during sports. Targeting existing consumers, it is available in strawberry or chocolate variants (rsp:3.49/330ml).