Kerry expands plant protein range to meet demand for plant-based foods and beverages

New plant protein ingredients will assist food and beverage manufacturers to develop innovative new plant-based organic, vegan, allergen-free products

Kerry is pleased to announce an extensive expansion to its nutritional plant protein range. This expansion broadens the company’s already impressive range of proteins for food and beverage companies.

Today’s consumers, who are more informed than ever, are accelerating the call for tastier plant-based choices in a range of popular items — nutritional bars, yoghurts, and waters, juices and smoothies, etc. — and Kerry’s revolutionary ingredients are well-positioned to lead the explosion in new and tasty plant-based alternatives.

The company’s new protein offerings are all plant-based and allergen-free, with organic options, and are suitable for use in a wide variety of creative food and beverage applications.

Containing protein from the desirable plant sources of pea, rice and sunflower, they address the mounting need for organic, vegan and traditional choices while at the same time offering great solubility, dispersibility and neutral taste.

“For more than 40 years, Kerry has been a trusted supplier of premium proteins that are optimised for nutrition, taste and functionality. We recognise the rapidly growing demand for plant-based protein as more and more consumers adopt a ‘flexitarian’ diet for health and sustainability reasons and are delighted to bring our expanded plant protein range to the market."

"By combining these new sources of plant protein with our established processing technology, technical expertise and flavour-masking capability, we have opened up many new innovation opportunities for our customers — and innovation remains at the heart of our work."

"At Kerry, we keep a constant focus on developing new products and, for plant protein in particular, are now working on exciting applications in plant-based yoghurt, ice cream bars and clear beverages, to name but a few,” said John Reilly, VP Business Development, Proteins for Kerry Taste & Nutrition.

“For food and beverage manufacturers seeking to develop protein-fortified products, Kerry has the technology — and now a greatly expanded range of plant proteins — to address any product-development challenges our customers may encounter,” said Mindy Leveille, Strategic Marketing Manager, Proteins, Kerry Tate & Nutrition.

The emerging plant-based food and beverage revolution

With the globe’s population set to reach nine billion by the late 2030s, a consumer-driven shift toward plant protein-based foods and beverages has been in evidence for some time already and looks set to continue well into the foreseeable future.

As rising numbers of consumers take health matters into their own hands, food and beverage product developers have responded by increasing their efforts to elevate the taste and nutritional quality of plant-based offerings to the same level as their animal-based counterparts.

One key strategy — introducing innovative plant-based extensions of recognised traditional products — is gaining speed as companies seek to capitalise on the willingness of consumers to try vegan variations of their favourite foods and beverages.

Nutritional quality and allergen-free are important issues in plant proteins

With the exception of soy (a “complete” protein that contains all essential amino acids), there has been one continuing challenge facing the plant protein marketplace: the lower nutritional quality of many plant proteins. It was in an effort to address this explicit need, in fact, that Kerry developed its complementary pea, rice and sunflower combinations.

Featuring optimised Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) up to 1.0, and rivalling dairy in terms of providing enhanced nutritional, functional and taste value — in applications that range from infant nutrition to seniors’ protein beverages to vegan applications — many of Kerry’s new proteins deliver clean taste and great texture in a “complete protein” profile.

Functional protein beverages are a major emerging market

Kerry’s recent research white paper report, entitled Unlocking the Power of Protein in Beverages, outlines the major application of protein fortification in functional beverages. The report, available for download at no charge at [link], examines the growing functional beverage category within a $850 billion global industry that is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2022.

Durin the last few years, and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, consumers’ mindsets have shifted to well-being as they embrace and explore the link between diet and health.

This shift in consumer attitude presents food and beverage manufacturers with a promising opportunity to tap into the “feel good” factor by providing the healthy protein options consumers desire, in both plant and dairy formats, and which can be used in many new foods and beverages — juices, waters, smoothies, coffees and more. According to the report, protein now represents 30% of all functional ingredients used in the beverage market.

“With such changes under way, it’s nothing short of an exhilarating time to be in the fast-paced vegan and organic industry. And now, with Kerry’s expansion of protein offerings, the needs of organic, vegan, allergen-free and traditional product manufacturers are being squarely addressed — to the ultimate benefit of consumers,” adds Leveille.

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