GLOBAL – In the ever-evolving landscape of health and nutrition, high-protein beverages are taking center stage, experiencing a remarkable surge in consumption driven by growing awareness of their manifold health benefits.

Once primarily associated with muscle building, these protein-enriched drinks are now being recognized for their role in satiety, metabolism regulation, and overall wellness.

Recent research conducted by Kerry has outlined a notable shift in consumer motives, with a significant number prioritizing a healthy lifestyle, weight management, and muscle support.

Givaudan’s consumer insights further illuminate the appeal of these beverages as convenient meal replacements, effective hunger suppressants, and energy boosters, catering to busy lifestyles and health-conscious individuals alike.

The upward trajectory of high-protein beverages extends beyond naturally occurring protein-rich options like yogurts, encompassing a wide array of fortified beverages.

According to MarketsandMarkets, proteins now constitute nearly 30% of functional ingredients in the beverage industry, reflecting a growing demand for nutritious and functional drinks.

The implications are profound; the global market for protein products is poised for exponential growth, with projections indicating sales reaching a staggering US$70 billion by 2025, marking a remarkable US$18 billion increase from 2020 levels.

As consumers continue to prioritize health and wellness, high-protein beverages are undeniably at the forefront of this evolving landscape.

Robert Lamber, Chief of Marketing and Communication at Ulrick & Short, emphasizeed the shifting consumer preferences, noting that high protein beverages are no longer confined to specialist sports nutrition applications but are sought after by consumers across all demographics seeking added nutritional value.

This observation is corroborated by a 2021 FMCG Gurus study, revealing a notable shift in global drinking habits, with an increasing number of consumers prioritizing increased protein intake.

Moreover, a growing percentage of consumers associate protein consumption with bolstering their immune systems, indicating a rising awareness of the health benefits of protein-rich diets.

Notably, older consumers are emerging as a pivotal demographic in the high-protein beverage market.

According to Giract, there is substantial potential for high-protein foods targeted towards older consumers, with a notable percentage actively seeking to boost their protein intake.

In the United States, consumers aged between 45 to 54 years are particularly inclined towards beverages enriched with over 29g of protein per serving, highlighting the growing demand for protein-rich options among aging populations grappling with declining muscle mass and bone health.

As the demand for high-protein beverages continues to soar, they are poised to play a significant role in addressing the evolving health and wellness needs of consumers worldwide.

For more insights check out the full article in the latest issue of Dairy Business Africa Magazine.

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