Product nutritional values and front of pack health credentials are significant buying factors for many consumers today. While the ‘good source of/high in protein’ claim has resonated with consumers for several years now, the credential has certainly been given impetus by the COVID pandemic.
According to Innova Market Insights, 9.4% of all launches in the UK last year carried the claim, while in sectors like cereals and snacking, the proportion was much higher at 28.5% and 12.6%, respectively.
In response, the clean label specialist has developed complex 24, which not only fortifies a product with a protein boost, but provides a complete amino acid profile – even in plant-based applications.
The protein also ticks the boxes of a myriad other consumer trends, being clean label, plant-based, gluten- and allergen-free and non-GMO.
Another factor that distinguishes it from other functional proteins is its neutral flavour profile, meaning it has minimal impact on the taste of products like protein bars and baked treats. It can also be used in hot process beverages (both dairy & plant-based) and meat substitutes.
“A few years ago, product protein claims were confined to specialist sectors like sports nutrition. However, as the consumer appeal of high protein products has grown, NPD in more ‘conventional’ sectors has grown in tandem,” said Danni Schroeter, R&D manager for Ulrick & Short.
“There has also been a shift in consumer expectation. Consumers now demand healthier and more nutritionally beneficial products but no longer accept a compromise on flavour or quality of the finished product.