US consumers have a healthy appetite for high protein food with a dairy focus

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st January 2013

High protein food products are on the increase in the United States according to new research by Mintel, finding that consumers are continuing to seek protein to balance diet, build muscle and manage weight loss.

According to Mintel research, introductions of foods and drinks making a high protein claim are almost three times higher in the US than anywhere else in the world, accounting for 19 per cent of global new product launches in 2012.

Australian Food News notes that for the Australian food industry, the new findings may demonstrate additional opportunities for potential growth of dairy expanding and value-adding in the protein dairy powder categories. These may include WPI-based sports supplements, special purpose infant formulas, as well as dairy-based meal replacements, spoon-able yogurts and high protein snacks.

Mintel found that foods making high protein claims span a wide array of categories, well beyond naturally protein rich foods such as meat, poultry, and fish.

In the US, snacks dominate the category – accounting for 20 per cent of the high protein food and drink new product launches in the US in 2012, followed by meal replacement and other fortified drinks (17 per cent) and spoon-able yogurt (15 per cent).

Global food Science trend analyst at Mintel, Nirvana Chapman, said that there is an opportunity for value brands to add ‘cost effective protein to products to entice a larger consumer segment.’

“Americans are looking for protein to aid in satiety, weight management and to boost muscle recovery and build muscle after a workout, making protein appeal to a broad audience in a great number of usage occasions,” Ms Chapman said.

“In the weight management industry, there is an upward trend towards products that combine whey protein, peptides, and calcium for weight loss. Specifically, the high protein trend is growing worldwide, evidenced by countries with high protein claim products being launched,” Ms Chapman added.

High protein foods and powders are increasing in popularity in the US.