Covid-19 has forced consumers to stay home just as esports continue their ascent and growth, making gamers a potentially lucrative target.
With consumers seeing events cancelled and being forced to remain at home, gaming and esports have grown in popularity. Esports has enjoyed spectacular growth over the 2010s, with thousands of fans filling stadiums around the world and watching streaming events online. Esports currently caters to 10% of the global online population of approximately 4.5 billion.
To date, esports tie-ups have tended towards junk food as well as sugary beverages and energy drinks. Monster, Red Bull, Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew, for instance, are regularly associated with events. Sitting down for long periods of time, combined with the demand for quick-energy snack items and functional drinks, has contributed to the negative stereotype of the unhealthy gamer.
Targeting healthier products at this booming niche will reach an emerging and diverse demographic. Gamers themselves are typically technologically savvy and educated, with global consumers as a whole reporting significant health consciousness at the moment.
GlobalData’s most recent consumer survey found that 30% of global consumers were quite concerned with their physical fitness and health, and almost as many, 26% were extremely concerned.
New snack targets health conscious esports gamers
ESports Nutritional (ESN) has recently launched a product range focused on health-conscious gamers who want healthier alternatives, while retaining the convenience of a snack format. The company currently sells through indiegogo, a crowdfunding website. As much of gaming content on YouTube and Twitch is effectively crowdfunded through Patreons and similar, this purchasing format is unlikely to dissuade the gamer demographic.
The ESN snack bar ‘REKT’ range contains the fatty acid Alpha-glycerophosphocholine, a natural choline compound found in the brain, which has been connected to the cognitive recovery of stroke patients, and is marketed as enhancing focus, memory, learning and mental endurance.
The company’s approach, prioritizing dark, ‘masculine’ colors alongside gaming- and science-focused messaging, increases the likelihood that the products will be a hit. The simplified design is also a positive move, making the product appear more clearly on streams and social media.
The product names come from gaming slang, which may humorously ingratiate the product with the target audience, but also exposes the product to the risks of hyper-specificity and ridicule.
Gamers are also known to be hostile to the unironic appropriation of their culture to part them with their money, and may reject this product as a result.