Interest in protein content on the rise, according to Innova Market Insights

Driven by weight management concerns and the move of performance products into the mainstream

Demand for proteins is showing good growth

High interest in protein content and high-protein lines across the food and drinks market is continuing to develop, in spite of the fact that most European and North American consumers already get enough protein in their diets.

This will be just one of the areas addressed by Innova Market Insights at its 'Taste the Trend' Pavilion (Booth #3651) at the IFT Food Expo in New Orleans, 21–24 June.

According to the market research company, the protein trend is driven by increasing health concerns – primarily weight management – plus the move of sports and performance products into the mainstream and targeted at the more generally active, rather than just athletes and players of sports.

Another rising trend is the Paleo diet, which focuses on lean protein, while avoiding processed foods and sugars.

'The time is right for protein innovation,' says Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. She cites a number of market drivers, including the need to feed a growing global population, a rise in sarcopenia (declining muscle mass, particularly among an ageing population), and the economic and environmental costs of existing protein sources.

Proteins have diverse application potential, with opportunities for alternative vegetarian options

'Proteins have diverse application potential, with opportunities for alternative vegetarian options, and new protein sources – such as microalgae – alongside existing and novel dairy-based and vegetable sources, such as soy, beans and grains,' she adds.

Innova Market Insights data indicate that nearly 3% of global food and beverage launches in the 12 months ending 31 March 2014, were marketed on a 'high-protein' or 'source of protein' positioning, rising to 6% in the US.

Demand for whey protein specifically is soaring as a result of growing demand in some Asian markets, in addition to its rising popularity as a natural, healthy ingredient, particularly in sports, medical and infant nutrition, and in weight management. While vegetables lead the list for the number of published protein patents in food and drinks, whey has risen from eighth position in 2012 to third position in 2013.

The number of nut and seed protein patents has also risen sharply, from single figures in 2012 to more than 200 in 2013. Even more exciting has been the strong activity in patent actions relating to algae-derived proteins, the company says.

Booth #3651 will also showcase three daily live presentations:

  • 12:00pm: What’s Next for Clean Label?
  • 13:30pm: Top Ten Trends for 2014
  • 15:00pm: Sports Performance

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