High-protein is now a mainstream consumer need, resulting in a booming market. According to some estimates, the number of new products launched with a high-protein claim has been increasing by almost 20% a year.1 This is largely because of increasing consumer awareness of protein’s benefits in areas like muscle growth, post-exercise recovery, satiety, and weight management, but also a surge in interest in overall nutrition.
Even though consumers want more protein, they’re increasingly likely to want it from alternative sources. Concerns about health, animal welfare, and the environment have fuelled a huge increase in demand for non-animal proteins, which accelerated during the pandemic. Research shows that consumers who were extremely concerned about COVID-19 bought 10 to 11% more plant-based protein.2 But while the “plant-based revolution” is largely the result of the growing consumer focus on health and sustainability, there are financial drivers too. With whey protein prices at their highest levels for years, formulators are looking to plant-based ingredients not just because they’re on-trend, but also because they can be more cost-effective.
Prinova is one of the world’s leading protein distributors and we offer a wide range of ingredients for both functionality and nutrition. Some of these are from animal sources; however, they're currently seeing a surge in interest in our ability to support plant-based solutions and vegan protein label claims. Prinova’s portfolio of plant protein concentrates and isolates includes products from sources such as pea, soy, rice, and emerging variants like fava bean, pumpkin, and watermelon seed.
From both nutritional and sustainability perspectives, one of the best vegetable sources of protein is pea. It’s highly digestible and offers an amino acid profile close to that recommended by the World Health Organization.3 Additionally, it’s ideally suited to sustainable food production, requiring less water and nitrogen fertilisers than other sources of plant protein.4
Pea protein already accounts for a higher percentage of new product launches than soy in the dairy alternative category5, and in the meat alternative sector, it is forecast to grow by around 25% annually.6 Prinova holds a large global share of the pea protein market, so they’re the ideal partner for companies looking to tap into these opportunities.
Moreover, their expertise in the intricacies of plant protein formulation means they can help our customers overcome common challenges related to taste, texture, and solubility. They can also offer specialist grades and customised blends of different plant proteins, which deliver particular nutrition profiles and functionality.
As a large-scale distributor, Prinova also offers a lot of protection against supply chain instability and price volatility. All of this makes them an ideal single source partner for brands seeking to meet the ever-increasing demand for protein from alternative sources.
1. Food Ingredients First ‘Nutrition hacking”: Innovation takes protein enrichment across categories’, 4 November 2020
2. Manitoba Analytics ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Protein Consumer Behaviour’, 2021 https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/markets-and-statistics/pubs/proteinandcovid.pdf
3. World Health Organization ‘Protein and amino acid requirements in human nutrition’, 2007
4. Zimberoff, L ‘The Rise of the Pea: How an Unassuming Legume Emerged as a Frontrunner in the Race to Replace Meat and Dairy’, Time, August 15, 2019
5. Innova Market Insights
6. Miridul, A ‘Soy and pea protein reign supreme in new vegan products in Europe’, The Vegan Review, June 14, 2021