Market – Potential

The size and potential of the fitness market is experiencing astonishing growth rates worldwide and a continuous expansion across the globe.

> The penetration rate of the German fitness market (share of the total target population) rose to from 8% to 12.9% between 2009 and 2017. 1

> The number of members in German gyms more than doubled between 2003 (4.4 million) and 2017 (10.6 million). 2

> Turnover in the fitness industry in Germany rose from € 3.8 billion in 2010 to € 5.2 billion in 2017, making it the largest in Europe. 3

> Worldwide sales of wearables rose by more than 300% from 28.8 million units in 2014 to 115.4 million units in 2017. 4

According to the sales forecast, sales of 189.9 million wearables are expected worldwide in 2022, which would represent a growth of 65%. 5

> Founded in 2007, the company Fitbit sold 15.4 million wearables worldwide in 2017 , in the price range of € 100 to € 300 per unit. 6

> From 2014 to 2017, sales of wearables in Germany rose by more than 500% from € 87.9 million to € 562 million. 7


Number of inhabitants 9, 10, 1182,500,000430,000,000328,000,000
people with thyroid disease 12, 13-30,000,000-156,363,636-20,000,000
potential Thyreogym users52,500,000273,636,364308,000,000
Percentage of people who do sports at least:
5 times a week DEU 145.0%2,625,000
1 to 4 times a week DEU 1443.0%22,575,000
5 times a week EU-27 147.0%19,154,545
1 to 4 times a week EU-27 1433.0%90,300,000
more than 3 times a week USA 1529.7%91,476,000
1 to 3 times a week USA 1510.9%33,572,000
Target group size rounded up or down25,200,000109,500,000125,100,000
* target groups for overweight and wellness application are not included


In order to assess the market, the market potential was determined on the basis of statistical surveys and questionnaires conducted in Germany, Europe and the USA.

The target group “athletes”, which in our opinion will have the greatest benefit from using Thyreogym, is defined as follows:

Since the thyroid gland is activated by Thyreogym, full functionality can only be guaranteed if the thyroid gland is healthy. According to some estimates, up to 30 million people in Germany suffer from thyroid diseases 12 and around 20 million people in the USA. 13

Due to limited data available for the rest of Europe, we have determined the potential number of Thyreogym users there by extrapolating, proportionally, from the figures for Germany. The number of potential users in Germany, the rest of Europe (EU-27) and the USA was found to be 634.1 million. The basis of assessment for determining the size of the “athletes” target group, who we see as potential buyers, are statistical values derived from the frequency of sports activities undertaken by the respondents.

The proportion of the population in Germany, the rest of Europe (EU-27) and the USA who do sport regularly – several times a week (see table) – allows us to estimate the size of the target group at around 259.8 million people.


The development of the sports and wellness market has experienced a constant upward trend since the 1980s. The market has continued to grow steadily since the bodybuilding trend started in the USA in the early 1980s. The worldwide fitness trend developed rapidly due to a growing interest in “gentle exercise” such as aerobics, gymnastics resulting in an increase in the number of female participants. The focus was no longer on weightlifting but on physical fitness, endurance training and an improved quality of life. The beauty ideal has also changed from a once very muscular body to a smooth, slim and nicely defined body. Nowadays, most people want a slim and aesthetically shaped body, which they seek to achieve through diet and/or sport. In addition to the classical methods, there are changes in diet, the use of dietary supplements and regular visits to one of the more than 59,000 fitness clubs in Europe. In industrialised countries, it is thought that doing sport and raising one’s physical fitness leads to an increase in prosperity in society and a reduction in disease. For decades, government bodies have been propagating the benefits of doing sport on a regular basis. And with success: a survey conducted by the European Commission in 2018 confirmed that only 46% of respondents said they would never do sport 16. In the 1950s, about 75% of respondents in Germany did not do sport. 17

But it is not only the type of sport and physical activity that has undergone rapid development. The development of training aids has grown even faster. In the middle of the 19th century, the first fitness device was developed by the physician Gustav Zander who used it to treat his patients. At the beginning of the 20th century, the first exercise bikes came onto the market, including the first bicycle ergometer in 1951. Today, athletes use technically advanced, computer-driven machines and equipment, from training simulators to fitness trackers to the smartwatch. The new trend of wearables developed into a significant market with a turnover of approx. EUR 12 billion worldwide, and still increasing. 18

At the same time, the use of nutritional supplements for athletes continued to develop. Initially, special diets were offered to athletes who were given selected foods high in protein, carbohydrate and fat. Today, this is complemented by food supplements, making a perfectly balanced diet possible. In 2017, products originally made specifically for athletes 19 (protein shakes, fortified foods and fitness drinks) were sold worldwide worth EUR 38.8 billion. The range of dietary supplements offered extends from simple mono-substance products (e.g. vitamin B, C, D) to highly complex, multi-substance ones (micronutrients and macronutrients). In Germany alone, food supplements worth €1.44 billion are purchased annually 20 (worldwide, EUR 106 billion 21). Product diversity and sales figures are steadily rising and forecast promising growth.



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