Culinology - September 2017 - 19

Plant-protein sources abound as product developers strive to
expand the market for plant-based beverages

I

t is no longer "gym rats," the male cohort
between the ages of 18-to-34, purchasing
protein drinks today. In a gradual shift, it is
women over 45 seeking high protein beverages. Many are reading articles urging them
to consume more protein to improve their
health, and many are acting on the advice.
More than half of consumers ages 55 and
older "regard high protein as an important attribute when purchasing nutrition and performance drinks," said Michael Averbook, food
and drinks analyst for Mintel.
"Boost Simply Complete and Ensure Enlive
offer nutritional drinks with high protein content and an advanced formula targeting older
consumers who may need these drinks for
dietary supplementation," he said.
Since many women see high protein as an
important attribute when purchasing nutrition
and performance drinks, it's no surprise that
brands such as Hormel Foods' Muscle Milk,
Fairlife's Core Power and Organic Valley's
Organic Balance products are being marketed to women.
At Niles, Ill.-based Imbibe, Inc., marketing
manager Ilana Orlofsky concurred with Mr.
Averbook that protein drinks are "no longer
relegated for the elite athlete." She identified
protein as a "highly sought after macro-nutrient," product developers are using to attract
new consumers to the category.
Researchers and manufacturers tend to
be on the same page in pointing to energy
and satiety as being the primary drivers of
consumer interest in protein drinks, but Ms.
Orlofsky takes it one step further.
"There's also a sexy association with protein, so many consumers strive to incorporate
as much of the nutrient as possible in their
diet, even though the average consumer isn't
protein deficient," she said.
Although consumers want the convenience
protein beverages offer, they also want flavor,
the more indulgent the better. Manufacturers
understand this but are aware of the need to
mask off flavors in product development.
"Historically, indulgent flavors have worked
well with protein drinks because of their ability to mask sometimes off-putting attributes,"
Ms. Orlofsky said. "We see indulgent flavors

commonly in better-for-you products. Flavor
innovation in this space sometimes presents
technical challenges due to the complex
chemistry and the instability of protein."
Notwithstanding the challenges, she's
come across some interesting flavors in
protein drinks. Standouts include vanilla
chai, horchata, nitro beet, savory herbs,
peanut butter cereal milk, passion fruit,
Snickerdoodle, and lemonade.

by Karen Weisberg
editor@sosland.com

Standing out in a crowded market
Clearly, energy, satiety, and that "sexy
something" are driving interest in the drinks,
but Cat Connelly, CCS, sees other motivators
at work. As senior scientist in R&D for the
dairy processor HP Hood, Lynnfield, Mass.,
Ms. Connelly sees people - especially young
consumers - grazing throughout the day
and seeking more protein.
Consumers seeking alternative sources of
protein comprised a niche market until recently and mainly included vegetarians or other consumers avoiding dairy. But now there's
broader interest that includes people concerned about allergens and ethical concerns,
and those seeking non-GMO ingredients.
From a research chef's perspective, the
challenges of incorporating such new protein ingredients as pea powder, brown rice,
algae, mushroom proteins as well as functional ingredients are admittedly great but not
insurmountable.
From Mr. Averbook's vantage point at
Mintel, where he forecasts sales of the performance drinks sector reaching $2.5 billion by
2021, it won't be easy.
"Brands looking to implement proteinpacked ingredients such as pea powder, soy,
nuts, seeds, and grains may struggle with
textures, tastes and flavors that some consumers may not enjoy," he said. "Particulates
from nuts, seeds or grains and a likely grainy
texture from soy or peas in protein drinks may
be polarizing for consumers."
Among plant-based options, Mr. Averbook
sees soy and pea protein as "the more preferred protein sources."
Overall, he finds launches of plant-based
nutrition and performance drinks "have inSEPTEMBER 2017 | Culinology |

19



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Culinology - September 2017

Culinology - September 2017
Table of Contents
President's Letter - Big ideas in Culinology
Emerging Trends - Taking sausage to the next level
Flavor Trends - Condiment creations - What's next?
Ingredient Trends - The seeds of beverage innovation
Campbell moves beyond pea soup
A broader market for plant protein
Member Profile - Those who can, teach Culinology
Sage advice from the professor
Expert Voices - Futuristic 'clean meat'
Food safety - High-pressure processing evolves
Industry News
Petits Fours
News Bites
Ad Index
Culinology - September 2017 - Table of Contents
Culinology - September 2017 - 2
Culinology - September 2017 - 3
Culinology - September 2017 - President's Letter - Big ideas in Culinology
Culinology - September 2017 - 5
Culinology - September 2017 - Emerging Trends - Taking sausage to the next level
Culinology - September 2017 - 7
Culinology - September 2017 - 8
Culinology - September 2017 - 9
Culinology - September 2017 - Flavor Trends - Condiment creations - What's next?
Culinology - September 2017 - 11
Culinology - September 2017 - 12
Culinology - September 2017 - 13
Culinology - September 2017 - 14
Culinology - September 2017 - 15
Culinology - September 2017 - 16
Culinology - September 2017 - 17
Culinology - September 2017 - Ingredient Trends - The seeds of beverage innovation
Culinology - September 2017 - 19
Culinology - September 2017 - Campbell moves beyond pea soup
Culinology - September 2017 - 21
Culinology - September 2017 - A broader market for plant protein
Culinology - September 2017 - 23
Culinology - September 2017 - Member Profile - Those who can, teach Culinology
Culinology - September 2017 - 25
Culinology - September 2017 - 26
Culinology - September 2017 - 27
Culinology - September 2017 - Sage advice from the professor
Culinology - September 2017 - 29
Culinology - September 2017 - Expert Voices - Futuristic 'clean meat'
Culinology - September 2017 - 31
Culinology - September 2017 - 32
Culinology - September 2017 - 33
Culinology - September 2017 - 34
Culinology - September 2017 - 35
Culinology - September 2017 - 36
Culinology - September 2017 - Food safety - High-pressure processing evolves
Culinology - September 2017 - 38
Culinology - September 2017 - 39
Culinology - September 2017 - Industry News
Culinology - September 2017 - 41
Culinology - September 2017 - 42
Culinology - September 2017 - 43
Culinology - September 2017 - 44
Culinology - September 2017 - 45
Culinology - September 2017 - Petits Fours
Culinology - September 2017 - 47
Culinology - September 2017 - 48
Culinology - September 2017 - News Bites
Culinology - September 2017 - Ad Index
Culinology - September 2017 - 51
Culinology - September 2017 - 52
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