Paleo diets, allergen awareness, gluten-free eating, and a focus on reducing carbs are all the rage and have spurred the appeal of protein.
Protein is not only a powerful nutrient; it’s a powerful word. The word “protein” is leading industry conversations, menus, and product developments these days. Companies and consumers alike are touting the benefits of protein. A high-quality protein ingredient can provide energy, nutritional foundation, flavor, and functionality.
Through understanding the nuances driving protein and the gaps in the marketplace, food companies can address consumer needs and deliver powerful protein solutions, all while making a positive impact on our food system and capturing new revenue sources.
Featured below are 4 BIG areas ripe for innovative applications with protein.
Today’s consumers are appreciating, perhaps more than any other time in recent history, the importance of protein for its nutritional qualities and role in a healthy diet. Health and wellness is at the forefront of food conversations. Much like chefs battling form vs. function, formulators battle nutrition vs. functionality. Developing a creative solution for this can set food brands apart.
Nutrition – Protein is a vital nutrient that your body needs every day. Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood and help your muscles to recover and repair more quickly after exercise. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins, and protein is one of three nutrients that provide calories (the others are fat and carbohydrates).
- Meat-based proteins are excellent for nutritional requirements and bioavailability.
- Foods high in protein include beef, fish, soy, whey, eggs, dairy, nuts, and chicken. In particular, IDF® ARC Concentrated Chicken Protein powders stand out in this mix for a multitude of reasons, many of which are mentioned throughout this article.
- IDF® chicken protein is a trusted source for novel and fun innovative applications.
2. Savory Protein/New Applications to Support
At the end of the day, it’s about actionable innovation and applications. True innovation is tough to find in the marketplace and even tougher to develop as a food brand and formulator.
Sports Nutrition — Whey proteins have dominated the sports nutrition market and typically lend themself to a sweet delivery system: almost all of the applications have a sweet flavor profile. While savory protein has not yet made an impact in sports nutrition, it is certainly poised to do so.
- Meat based proteins offer formulators and food brands a savory protein that will lend itself to very different delivery systems while supporting novel, innovative applications.
- Savory proteins open the door to center-of-plate, as well as health and wellness snacks, kids’ snacks, and meeting special dietary needs for sports enthusiasts and aging generations. IDF chicken protein is positioned to lead this evolution.
Convenience is a huge driver of time-compressed consumer purchasing habits. Unfortunately, convenience protein applications have been limited in form and flavor, making national offerings for meal and snack options very “vanilla” in nature.
Sports Nutrition – Body builders and sports enthusiasts are key influencers within the sports nutrition marketplace. They have been known to consume large amounts of cooked chicken during a week and prepare nutrient-dense meals to support their performance requirements and muscle growth. The significant time it takes to prepare this quantity of chicken and meals can consume valuable personal time, which highlights an opportunity for convenience innovation.
- Chicken continues to be a mainstream family favorite for center-of-plate meals, but, until now, there has not been a convenient powder form to support mealtime, snacking occasions, or “on the go” convenient applications.
- IDF® ARC™ Concentrated Chicken Protein ingredients will address and support these new innovations by delivering quality chicken protein in a more convenient form.
4. Free From Common Allergens
Allergen awareness is influencing consumer lifestyles and dictates how many react to and plan their food choices. With this comes an opportunity to answer a consumer need, and bring solutions to underserved areas of development.
Sports Nutrition — It is hard to find sports nutrition applications and supplements that are free of known allergens; however, this has been one of the fastest growing segments and certainly a major opportunity.
- Chicken is not listed as one of the Big 8 common allergens, and can support clean labeling for food processors that are required to label common allergens such as egg, dairy, nuts, soy, etc. in their products.
- IDF® ARC™ Concentrated Chicken Protein ingredients provide a solution for addressing the allergen labeling challenge, as IDF® protein ingredients free from common allergens, in addition to being formulation-friendly in flavor, with no bitter or beany aftertaste.