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12 November 2014

Protein is on the rise! All you have to do is look around and you’ll see that protein is stated on grocery products, in advertising, and featured in all the latest diets.

So what factors are behind this increasing trend?

Historically, protein has been viewed by consumers as a vital part of a healthy and well balanced diet. It was at the very centre of which meals were planned around and until the late 90’s only the elite, high performing athletic community consumed alternative forms. Energy bars, diet bars and protein drinks were associated with hard-core gym goers and body builders looking to aid recovery after a workout and build muscle. However, over the past few years protein has been sought out by the latest generation of consumers in new formats for consumption beyond traditional sources, positioned more around a healthy lifestyle.

Research has told us that most people start their journey to healthy eating by cutting down on negatives, such as saturated fats and sugar. As they progress further along their healthy journey they look for positives and protein has been well-documented with many benefits to achieve this outcome. It helps children grow, supports muscle development in active teens, aids women in weight loss and prevents memory loss among seniors. The result being a consumption shift from the fat-free and sugar-free which all revolve around restraint and avoidance, to protein which revolves around eating more. And so protein becomes mainstream, and it doesn’t stop there.

The sports nutrition market was worth £270m in 2012 according to Euromonitor International and it is estimated that the world will be consuming £8bn a year of protein bars, drinks and other supplements by 2017.

So what is the potential it could have for your business and can you leverage it to grow your business?

1. Seek out opportunities for product innovation in categories where protein isn’t currently prominent. Consider the acceptance of consumers if protein was introduced to that category, and the way the protein is added to the product.
2. Consider revealing proteins that already exist in your product portfolio to let consumers know they’re there.
3. Market and merchandise proteins across different consumption occasions (i.e snack, sport, health) to offer consumers an array of protein options.
4. Provide suggestions and cross merchandise proteins. Show consumers how to combine proteins to boost total intake. For example, top off a Power Whey Protein Shake with Greek yogurt.
5. Investigate the opportunity to leverage emerging protein trends, such as the growth in plant based or vegetable protein.

Is there potential for you to leverage your business from protein? We’d like to hear about it.

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