Protein hits these three sweet spots of current global food trends

Protein is known as providing a multitude of dietary benefits. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the demand for new, innovative, protein-based products growing steadily, year by year. To be able to meet and exceed the needs of our customers, now and in the future, it’s worth looking at the global food trends that are shaping behavioural changes on a daily basis.

The Covid19 epidemic has made consumers increasingly aware of the importance of a strong immune system, and many are looking to make changes to their diet to support it. Valio’s Nutrition Research Manager Anu Turpeinen explains the role of high-quality proteins to the immune system:

“Balanced nutrition and overall wellbeing help support a normal immune function at every age. Optimal intake of protein is a crucial part of a balanced diet and vital for fighting infections. Dairy protein is an excellent source of high-quality protein, as it contains all the nine amino acids essential for the human body. Our digestive system can absorb milk protein particularly well, which means that the body can utilize it effectively.”

Protein offers a lot of business potential

Studies of customer preferences across markets have shown that the perfect product-to-be is the one that can solve the unmet demand for less added sugar (or artificial sweeteners), whilst at the same time providing high levels of protein – a nutrient topping consumer priorities for a variety of reasons.

High-quality protein, when integrated into a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, helps keep us energized in our busy day-to-day life. A versatile diet that includes high-quality protein is beneficial in healthy weight management: adequate intake of protein helps maintain muscle tissue during weight loss. Protein is also well known for being essential in growing and maintaining muscle mass – an interesting fact for those seeking to develop their fitness potential. In addition, muscle mass is also very important for the ageing people.

77% of state that protein is a truly important part of their diet

“Adequate intake of high-quality protein is especially vital for healthy ageing. High-quality protein helps maintain muscle mass when ageing, which contributes to an active lifestyle and overall well-being in later life.” Dr. Turpeinen explains.

According to The European Whey Protein Consumer Tracker 2017, consumers have a very positive attitude towards protein. 77% of those surveyed state that protein is a truly important part of their daily diet.

Trends are shaping consumption behaviours

To be able to understand what drives the needs of our customers, a look at the major global food trends reveals what type of correlations can be found with protein.

Health and wellness is in many ways the most obvious trend of a modern world. A fit and active lifestyle is fast becoming a new symbol of status, as more and more people seek a healthier and happier life.

In developed nations, the struggles of weight management are a concern for many. A versatile diet that includes high-quality protein is beneficial in maintenance of a healthy body weight. Adequate intake of high-quality protein helps maintain muscle mass during weight loss.

A fit and active lifestyle is fast becoming a new symbol of status, as more and more people seek a healthier and happier life.

Indulgence, as the second most recognised trend, is also playing a greater role in daily life. Consumers are looking for a big taste in small portions. People are no longer willing to compromise on either flavour or nutrition. Increasingly, food products must be both healthy and delicious. Thanks to new protein-based innovations, products can be desirable and functional, successfully combining taste and healthy nutrition.

People are no longer willing to compromise on either flavour or nutrition.

The third major trend, lack of time, is a challenge with which we can all relate. With the increasing pace of modern life, we all know there are times when you need to grab something to eat in a hurry. However, consumers in today's world expect convenience food to be healthy and versatile. Products that contain natural sources of protein not only offer nutrition and convenience, they provide an easy snack for busy people on the go.

Consumers in today's world expect convenience food to be healthy and versatile.

Cater the needs of ageing adults

Older adults have diversified nutritional needs. Valio Eila™ Nutri F+ is a new ingredient for special nutrition products. Have a look at our healthy ageing solutions for food and beverage industry.

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