Protein Reigns Supreme

May 4, 2015

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The undisputed king of the claim, protein is top of mind for health conscious consumers, young and old. Join us as we examine the motivation for protein and what is expected for this consumer-craved diet essential in 2015.

Where Is Protein Having the Most Impact?

Meal Replacement Beverages

50% of protein drink users consume meal replacement beverages to get more energy. 48% do so because they help to curb hunger cravings and provide satiety between meals.
Snack Bars

Consumers are snacking more than ever due to their fast paced lifestyle and the need to keep up energy throughout the day. Not coincidentally, the snack food category represents the most launches of high protein foods. In 2014, 19% of all high protein foods and drinks launched in the U.S. were snack bars.

91% of U.S. consumers eat cold cereal and do so about 12 times a week. In fact, over 80% of cereal consumers want a high protein cereal. High protein is one of the top two claims that consumers crave.

Hot Flavors in High Protein Product Introductions

Top High Protein Drink Flavors

  • Vanilla

  • Strawberry

  • Berry

  • Cookies and Cream

Unique Flavor Combos

  •  Apple Pie

  • Chocolate, Caramel, Pretzel

  • Dark Chocolate, Coconut Greek Yogurt

  • German Chocolate

  • Piña Colada

  • S'mores

  • Strawberries and Cream

  • Strawberry Cheesecake

  • Sweet Chili and Almond

Top High Protein Food Flavors

  • Chocolate

  • Chocolate/Peanut Butter

  • Strawberry

  • Peanut Butter

  • Blueberry Vanilla

  • Cookies and Cream

FONA's Protein Predictions

Protein: Not Just For Dinner

Recent studies have shown that protein is best consumed in smaller amounts throughout the day, resulting in greater protein retention—contrary to the typical 45% American intake at dinner. As consumers increase their protein intake throughout the day, expect to see a demand for high protein snacks and meals that can be consumed on-the-go.
Dessert: A Sweet Source

Americans love dessert, so anything that can bring a healthy profile to indulgence is welcome!
Vegan: Desire for High Protein

In the U.S., products that had a combined claim of being both high protein and vegan showed a 100% growth from 2012-2014. This signifies that opportunity exists for manufacturers who can offer both high protein and vegan formulations.
Kids: An Untapped Market

The fact that kids are big snackers, like colorful packaging, and lead a fast-paced lifestyle creates opportunity for high protein energy sources that are fun, taste great and carry kids from activity to activity.
Women: Multitasking Protein

Women especially are incorporating more protein in their diets with the goal to manage their weight, reduce fat and develop lean muscle. When shopping for groceries for either themselves or their families, 79% of women were interested in protein-rich food.
Chocolate: A New Protein Post-Workout Pick-Me-Up

Currently, only 36% of consumers who work out eat high protein products after exercising for muscle recovery. Enhancing chocolate with protein, nuts or whey powder could be a new post-workout opportunity for chocolate confectionery and new flavor and positioning opportunities for manufacturers.

What Is Driving Consumers' Desires for High Protein Concepts?


57% of consumers make it their mission to consume more protein. Consumers aged 18-34 and 65+ were the most likely to seek out protein.

Energy is among the largest overlooked opportunities for protein. Two-thirds of adults (64%) think protein helps provide energy throughout the day; 62% that it helps maintain energy levels.
Maintain and Build Muscle

39% of U.S. consumers are eating more protein to help build muscle and 32% to maintain muscle mass.
Weight Management

Of the consumers eating more protein, almost half 46%, are doing so to help maintain a healthy weight and 38% have increased their protein intake to help them lose weight.




Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market. Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way. Contact our Sales Service Department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit