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Food Manufacturers

Innovation: Potatoes for the win

Analysts predict that the global sports-nutrition market will hit a value of $31.0 billion by 2027, representing a CAGR of 8.9 percent over the forecast period1. Yet with today’s definition of “sport” encompassing everything from yoga to competitive video-gaming, sports-nutrition brands have a broader base of “athletes” for whom to formulate.

That means finding ingredients that are “team players”: able to deliver performance nutrition, formulation functionality, and the clean, “whole-food” cred that consumers demand.

Potatoes top this roster. Not only are they gluten-free sources of the complex carbohydrates and electrolytes essential to working muscles2, 3; they play multiple functional positions, too, contributing texture, structure, flavor, shelf life, and more wherever they appear.

Consider dehydrated potato flakes, which help bulk up a baked, shelf-stable energy bar while enhancing dough hydration, improving baking performance, and acting as a binder. Meantime, potato shreds build structure and send a visual cue that this bar is packed with recognizable potato power.

Food scientists have even used an amylase enzyme to convert the starch in dehydrated potato flakes into a novel plant-based sugar. The clean-label sugar supplies mildly sweet energy to neutral-pH products like beverages, gels, bars, and coatings, and it’s further proof that for sports nutrition innovation, potatoes are the name of the game.



  1. “Sports Nutrition Market Size Worth $31.0 Billion By 2027: CAGR: 8.9%.” Market Research Reports & Consulting, Feb. 2020,https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-sports-nutrition-market.
  2. Burke LM, Hawley JA, Wong SH, Jeukendrup AE. Carbohydrates for training and competition. J Sports Sci. 2011; 29(Suppl 1):S17–27.
  3. Thomas DT, Erdman KA, Burke LM. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2016; 116(3):501–528.

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