Protein Market - Trends 1
Four trends in the plant-based protein market are refrigerated plant-based meat alternatives, non-soy plant-based protein beverages, pea protein, and plant-based high-protein baked products.
Refrigerated Plant-Based Meat Alternatives
- According to IRI data, refrigerated plant-based meat alternatives was the fastest growing (310.7% YoY) category in the "protein as primary functional ingredient" category in the 52 weeks ending Feb 24, 2019.
- According to data published by the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association, while the conventional meat category grew by 2% in 2019, plant-based meat grew by 10% (to $800 million), and the refrigerated plant-based meat alternatives segment grew at a significantly higher rate of 37%.
- Caroline Bushnell of The Good Food Institute believes that "this is just the beginning of a massive growth period for plant-based foods". The growth will be the result of consumers opting for more sustainable food alternatives and innovations in the category that will result in taste improvements, the largest driver of food choices.
- In September 2019, Kellogg Co. introduced Incogmeato, the "first ready-to-cook plant-based burger to be sold in the refrigerated meat case".
- In 2017, Maple Leaf Foods, a leading meat company in Canada acquired Lightlife Foods, a manufacturer of green meat substitutes with a 38% market share in the United States refrigerated plant protein market.
- While protein beverage formulations are typically dairy-based, alternative protein beverages have witnessed increased demand in recent times as a result of consumers opting for lactose-free or vegetarian diets, or because they perceive other health benefits.
- In addition to protein, plant-based protein beverages provide additional nutrients, including fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients. However, they are more challenging to develop than dairy products as they have low solubility and tend to be off-color.
- As a result of the growing demand, there have been greater innovations in the type and flavor of plant-based beverages in the market. Several non-soy beverages such as oats, rice, and barley have been introduced in the market.
- In November 2018, Hope & Sesame launched the first ever sesame-based milk. It introduced five non-GMO flavors: original, unsweetened original, chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate hazelnut. The product took two years to develop and contains 8 gms of protein per serving.
- Califia Farms launched Ubermilk, a blend of oats, peas, and sunflower seeds, in February 2019. A serving (8 oz.) of Ubermilk contains 8 grams of protein and "eight essential amino acids".
- As pea protein is an allergen-free and non-GMO alternative to soy, it has seen rapid adoption in recent times.
- The "specialty nutrition sector for sports, clinical applications, and weight management" is the largest market for pea protein; however, meat and dairy alternative manufacturers have started taking notice too.
- A variety of food types--plant-based beverages, cereals, and chips--have been quick to incorporate pea protein. Several bakers have started using pea protein as an allergen-free alternative to eggs, wheat, and dairy.
- Several public schools in North America use textured vegetable protein in their food programs as they are a good and economical source of protein and fiber. Textured pea protein is the fastest-growing segment within the textured vegetable protein category "due to its application as meat analogs, extenders & substitutes in Hamburger, ground meat, stuffing, sausages, vegetarian products, Bolognese sauces, pizza dressing, and nuggets."
- As pea proteins lack two essential amino acids, lysine and threonine, it is often combined with whey, rice, or soy while remaining an allergen-free and sustainably-sourced alternative to animal-based protein.
- Protes Vegan Baked Chips, Halo Top Dairy Free Frozen Dessert, and Daiya Greek Yogurt Alternative are new products in the market that use pea protein.
- In October 2018, DuPont Nutrition & Health introduced TRUPRO 2000 Pea Protein, a new pea protein beverage.
- As a result of animal-based protein being substituted by plant-based protein, and an increasing number of individuals trying to consume more "muscle-building nutrients", there is a growing demand for plant-based baked products with high protein content.
- The number of baked products making a protein claim doubled between 2013 and 2017. According to Euromonitor, baked products with protein will double by 2025. In the United States, "shelf-stable baking mix & ingredients & flour" grew 64.4% in the 52 weeks ending Feb 24, 2019.
- Canada is seen as the knowledge hub for plant-based-protein-rich baked products. In 2016, the UK's largest bakery brand, Warburtons, collaborated with Canadian researchers to develop "dough from pea flour that produces bread that looks and tastes almost like any other loaf, but which also has more protein and less of the carbs and gluten that more consumers are trying to avoid."
- In recent years, Canada has also seen the launch of plant-based high-protein bread such as Dimpflmeier’s Carb Smart High Protein Bread (2016), "the highest protein and lowest carb bread in North America", and Country Harvest's soy and wheat-based protein bread.
- Blue Diamond aggressively markets its almond protein powder for baking, while Cargill manufactures pea protein flour for baked goods that give baked goods a superior texture and high protein content.