New Forms of Protein Set for “Soaring Global Demand”

June 16, 2011

New proteins are set to become a $2.5 billion business this decade, according to a new report from New Nutrition Business.

New proteins are set to become a $2.5 billion business this decade, according to a new report from New Nutrition Business. Part of this success stems from protein’s expanding presence in markets besides bodybuilding and athletics, such as weight management and senior nutrition.

Among the report’s comments:

  • Weight management is the strongest and most-used health-benefit platform for protein, driven by an increasing body of nutrition research suggesting that high-protein and low-glycemic-index diets are the most effective diets for weight loss. However, creating successful products that deliver protein for weight management has not been easy. Among protein-fortified weight-management products, there have been many more failures than successes.

  • Senior nutrition is also a significant opportunity-particularly for products that help fight sarcopenia (muscle wastage), which affects everyone after the age of 60. Both corporate giants and “protein entrepreneurs” are carving out new space in this market.

To overcome challenges, choosing the right form of protein is crucial, says New Nutrition Business. Although bars and beverages are typically the most common way of delivering high protein doses, these may not be the formats that consumers most identify with protein.

The report also notes that new proteins such as Quorn, which offers a fungi-based protein source, will see increasing global demand as consumers search for healthier protein sources.

“Quorn and other novel protein sources-such as those being commercialized from fermented algae, are well-placed to benefit from dramatically growing global demand for protein, driven by newly wealthy countries such as China and India,” states the report.

Cost will also play a role. “Surging prices for animal proteins-which reached record highs in 2010-are forecast to increase. This will create consumer demand for alternative sources of protein that are more affordable than animal sources-and may well be the mass-market opportunity.”