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EHFF 2019: European fitness market still growing

The European fitness market continues to grow at a steady rate, according to the latest European Health & Fitness Market Report, published in partnership by Deloitte and EuropeActive.

The report shows that the market grew 3.4 per cent in 2018, with revenues of €27.2bn and total memberships of 62.2 million.

Deloitte's Karsten Hollasch presented the findings of the report at the European Health and Fitness Forum (EHFF), which is being held in Cologne, Germany today. Now in its sixth year, the EHFF is taking place during the FIBO 2019 trade show.

Hollasch said low-cost operator Basic Fit grew fastest out of all European companies during 2018, reporting an additional 1m new members.

Other operators growing their membership at a fast pace include McFit, which added 700,000 new members; Pure Gym with 600,000; Fit X with 500,000; The Gym Group (400,000) and Clever Fit (400,000).

Hollasch added that he expects total gym membership to grow from the current 62.2 million to 86 million by 2025.

"This will increase average market penetration rates from the current 7.8 per cent to 11 per cent," he added.

"The market size by 2025 depends on growth rate – 3.8 per cent would give 81 million members and 4.7 per cent gives 86m."

Other keynotes at EHFF included one given by David Long, CEO of Orangetheory Fitness, who told delegates that there was "a lot of white space" in the world for fitness and "massive room for growth – but a lack of understanding of the ‘why?’ of fitness".

"Personalisation is vital - it’s hard to serve up an experience in a gym without it," Long said.

"When consumers enter the fitness market, we have to ask what is important to them.

"At Orangetheory, we look at greater outcomes than just losing body fat, such as cardiovascular health, increased energy, better mental health and aim to encourage members to share successes and get on a cycle of growth.”

• The EHFF is taking place today as part of the week-long FIBO event. HCM editor Liz Terry will be reporting and live-tweeting from the event, follow her on Twitter at @elizterry

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