No signs of slowing down
Data monitor research suggests that the high protein trend may be coming to an end (read more). But according to Lindsey Ormond of Arla Food Ingredients this is not the case. Arla sees that the demand for high quality protein is continuing to increase globally and not just in Europe. Whilst whey protein powder comes historically from the bodybuilding arena, the scope for new products has increased significantly and there are a growing number of categories that this ingredient fits into, such as weight management, infant and senior nutrition.
Can whey reinvigorate weight management?
For a number of years the established weight management category has been in decline as consumers have switched from nutritional deprivation and towards maximisation, as well as choosing products that in their presentation and retail seem more like food than pharmaceuticals. The use of whey protein has the potential to have a big impact on this category to provide something that is not only effective in packing more nutrition value into lower calories, but also something that tastes good and is convenient. Health snacking is one area in particular that is booming as Arla demonstrated in a high protein smoothie concept presented at the show.
Feeding the old people of the future
Of all consumer groups, the one that stands to benefit the most from higher protein consumption is not young athletes but rather ageing consumers. Loss of muscle mass at old age (sarcopenia) results in reduced mobility, greater risk from injury (e.g falling down) and more difficulty in recovery, contributing towards to a process of terminal decline. But how do you market to this consumer group? No one wants to be told that they are on their last legs so any product that attempts to do so will have limited appeal. For the mainstream the key is taste and convenience with protein incorporated seamlessly into already familiar products like yogurt, supported by positive messaging as the the health and lifestyle benefits.