Consumer interest in protein boosts sector

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers are more interested in proteins
Consumers are more interested in proteins

Related tags: Marketing, Business, Nutrition

Consumer awareness of protein’s health credentials has given businesses the opportunity to expand into protein-enriched food and drink, new research has claimed.

Almost half (49%) of UK consumers in the survey were “very aware” ​of protein’s health benefits, according to consumer research firm Canadean.

Just less than a tenth (8%) of consumers were using protein supplements. However, 68% of those surveyed wanted to substitute supplementation for fortified food and drink products, the research showed.

Increase the amount of protein

Less than a fifth (16%) of those surveyed said they were also trying to increase the amount of protein they consumed.

“These results indicate that ingredients and food manufacturers have successfully turned the demand for protein from a short-term fad into a long-term sustainable trend,” ​Canadean analyst Kirsty Nolan said.

Despite rising consumer demand for protein-rich products, manufacturers also faced the continued challenge to effectively use new protein ingredients, Nolan added.

“The challenge is to effectively use the new protein ingredients on the market to create convenient and tasty protein-enriched food and drink for consumers who are increasingly seeking a variety of new, protein-rich offerings,” ​she said.

£200M last year

Meanwhile, Teesside mycoprotein manufacturer Quorn claimed its sales had risen from £150M​ in 2013 to £200M last year.

The firm’s boss Kevin Brennan would also see the company become a $1bn business within the next 20 years, after taking advantage of expanding meat alternative markets across the world, he said.

Quorn also saw sales rise as a result of the horsemeat scandal​, which undermined consumer trust in the UK’s meat supply chain, Brennan said.

“Quorn has gone on more people’s radars now,” ​he said. ​[Horsegate] made people concerned about where their meat comes from and what’s in meat products.”

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