Protein innovation set to continue!

High protein products continue to be launched across a range of food and drink categories. Consequently, novel protein ingredients are emerging to meet the demand from manufacturers for innovative solutions for protein fortification in different applications.  As consumers are becoming increasingly discerning when it comes to protein type and quality, what does the future hold for the high protein trend?

Over recent years, launches of food and drink products making protein-related claims has grown considerably. In Europe for example, research from Mintel’s Global New Product Database (GNPD) shows the percentage of new food and drink products with high protein claims increased from 27% in 2010 to 36% in 2014.

The health benefits related to protein, such as satiety and weight management, appear to be well-recognised by consumers. In the UK for example, recent consumer research from Mintel indicated that almost half (46%) of UK consumers reported to eating protein as a means to maintain their weight.

Whilst it is likely to continue as a major health and wellness trend, in the future consumers will become increasingly discerning when it comes to protein. More specifically, type and quality of the protein will become more and more important and consumers will look at the protein ingredients used with even greater scrutiny.

There are already a plethora of protein ingredients from a range of different sources now available and innovation in this area shows no sign of slowing. As demonstrated in graph 1 below, Leatherhead Food Research predicts that by 2018, the value of the global protein ingredients market is forecast to increase to USD31billion.

Graph 1: Value of the Global Protein Ingredients Market 

Source: Leatherhead Food Research

Plant-based proteins are an area of particular of particular interest. Pea protein for example is an ingredient that has gone from strength to strength in recent years with a report issued in March 2015 by Mintel indicating that the number of product launches using pea protein increased by 49% from 2013 to 2014.

Whilst novel ingredients are emerging all the time, the ongoing challenge for food and drink manufacturers is to utilise these new protein ingredients to create functional, nutritional and great-tasting protein enriched products. Utilising a variety of different protein sources in a product will likely become a more widespread strategy, where formulators incorporate blends of different proteins to generate a desired nutritional profile.

At this year’s Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) show in Paris there will be 6 Discovery Tours  available focusing on specific areas of interest in the food and drink industry. One of these tours will look at protein innovation, exploring different ingredients available for enhancing the protein content of a range of food and drink products.

Produced in conjunction with Leatherhead Food Research, the Discovery Tours can be followed by you in your own time to visit the key exhibitors innovating in each of these 6 areas, and find the ingredients solutions to meet your formulation needs.

For more information on the Discovery Tours please visit:

Fiona McPherson, Head of Marketing, Leatherhead Food Research



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