‘Health halo’ surrounding protein resonates with UK consumers
Consumers in the UK have begun to acknowledge the importance of eating and drinking products that are high in protein, according to findings from market research organisation Canadean. However, Canadean said its survey also revealed that consumers did not have enough protein in their daily diets – a challenge and opportunity for manufacturers.
According to the survey, 81 per cent of consumers said that they are aware of the importance of having enough protein in their diet. Despite this high awareness, only 44 per cent said that they have the correct daily allowance of protein. Moreover, only 16 per cent of consumers said that they were making more of an effort to seek out food and drink products that are high in protein.
When those who were seeking out groceries high in protein were asked why they were doing so, the most common reason was “to improve general wellbeing” (44 per cent) followed by “to increase strength” (37 per cent). Canadean said these general answers showed that there was still some lack of awareness about the specific benefits of the ingredient, “such as increased bone density, lower risk of osteoporosis and muscle retention”.
Need for more education about health benefits
While the 25-34 year olds were most likely to try and include more protein (28 per cent), consumers aged 55 years and older were the least likely (10 per cent). Canadean said this showed that manufacturers need to educate senior citizens better about the specific health benefits of protein.
Manufacturers of products high in protein also have to overcome issues related to taste perception and consumer scepticism, especially when purchasing everyday groceries., according to Canadean. Canadean’s data showed that 52 per cent of consumers were sceptical of indulgent products such as ice cream with high-protein claims on the packaging.
“While protein currently has a ‘health halo’ surrounding it, more needs to be done to encourage consumers to purchase products high in the ingredient,” said Michael Hughes, lead analyst at Canadean. “Manufacturers need to target specific demographic groups – and in particular senior citizens – by educating consumers about the specific health benefits associated with protein and how it can improve their lifestyle,” he said.