A powerful pre-workout drink, a low-sugar, non-GMO wellness bar and high-protein meal replacement shake are among the finalists vying for the 2019 NEXTY Awards at SupplySide West in Sports Nutrition Food and Beverage.
The NEXTY Awards at SupplySide West recognize innovation, inspiration and integrity across a range of finished product categories—from condition-specific supplements and nutrient delivery innovation to functional food/beverage and brand storytelling. Eligible products must have been launched to the U.S. consumer market between summer 2018 and July 31, 2019.
Known for the last seven years as the SupplySide West Editor’s Choice Awards, in 2019 the ECAs have been rebranded as the NEXTY Awards at SupplySide West. This evolution embraces the industry recognition of the NEXTY brand as a symbol of excellence and further aligns the SupplySide and Natural Products Expo events.
Functional food and beverages comprise an opportunity area for sports nutrition, especially with an expanded consumer base of active consumers who follow mainstream trends. Energy and recovery drinks have long been popular, but sports beverages now target performance, cognitive and other important benefit areas for athletes and active people. Protein has been a gateway to sports nutrition for many users, and this is certainly the most prolific ingredient in functional foods, from bars and shakes to snacks and baked goods.
As demonstrated by the finalists in this category, more new sports nutrition products are targeting mainstream trends such as plant-based, gluten-free, non-GMO, clean label and organic. Areas of growing importance also include transparency of nutrition labeling and, in some cases, clean labeling. These finalists represent not just a range of energy, muscle and performance goals, but they also the widening range of flavors, formats and other trends sports nutrition consumers increasingly demand.