• Protein Popularity Accelerates Whey Protein Usage

    By John Klees December 9, 2016

    december.jpgWhey protein usage continues to expand beyond its sports nutrition roots and body building persona, becoming a standout contributor to the broader expansion of mainstream protein health and wellness product offerings.

    At a recent U.S. dairy protein seminar in Tokyo, LuAnn Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights, and Robert Beausire, president of Kai Nutra LLC, highlighted whey protein as a not-to-be-missed innovation opportunity that delivers on key consumer trends across generations.

    Williams discussed the popularity of protein and how it continues to impact innovative products in the food and beverage industry. According to Williams, the number of new product launches tracked globally with whey protein continues to rise, reaching nearly 6,000 products in 2015. Moreover, the pace of new product launches is accelerating, growing at a 34% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2010 to 2015 compared to 6% CAGR between 2005-2009.1

    Williams said, "The appeal of protein has become a significant differentiating factor from other products. As a result, the breadth of whey protein-containing products has expanded from sports drinks and powders into mainstream beverages, yogurt, cereal, pancake mix, soup, chocolate bars, chips and snacks and become a part of consumers’ daily diet across generations.”

    Protein claims allow products to standout over others since the appeal of protein has expanded to general consumers with health and wellness goals. This has resulted in more manufacturers experimenting with protein in their food and beverage offering.

    "The ‘health actives’ segment represents the largest category in terms of the number of consumers of protein-enriched products,” said Beausire. “As the number of consumer wanting protein has risen, what they desire from products is also diversifying, such as leucine concentration, satiety and value. The extensive range of U.S. dairy proteins such as whey and milk protein can deliver on these wide range of needs.”

    Among the key needs whey protein can address include:

    • Meet satiety snack trends
    • Reach the senior audience with muscle health benefits
    • Add purpose to indulgent snacks
    • Contribute to a clean/clear label

    Whey protein has a range of health and wellness benefits that complement all types of applications, such as snacks, yogurt and bakery, and, as shown, a large appearance in food and beverage launches. Visit ThinkUSAdairy.org to learn how whey protein can add value and functionality to new products.

    1Williams L. Top trends in food & beverages NPD. Innova Market Insights. Tokyo; 2016.

    Market Insights USDEC Events Protein Japan Global Dairy Proteins Milk Protein Whey Protein
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