[21 October/ foodprocessing.com.au]

Food and beverage producers are capitalising on the soaring interest amongst consumers for products with higher protein content, with data from Innova Market Insights showing nearly 4% of all product launches used a ‘high in’ or ‘source of’ protein positioning (which rose to 8% in dairy and 14% in the yogurt category).  Analysts suggested that the dairy sector’s healthy image has helped it to take a lead in the rising interest in protein.  The US is leading the growth in this sector, with 17% of dairy product launches focusing on protein content.  Product launches included the introduction of Icelandic fermented dairy product skyr and a wide range of high protein, performance milk beverages (including an organic versions of a market leading Muscle Milk Protein beverage).  The European market also saw the launch of a number of protein enriched milk drinks targeted at the sports beverage sector.  High protein foods are one of the most sought after nutritional choices at moment, particularly milk and yogurts but it is thought there are opportunities for other sectors to benefit from this trend.