[19 February/Food Navigator USA]

Performance Foods, a Brooklyn based food business, claims while the popcorn category has seen a lot of innovation in recent years it has all been driven around flavour rather than function and as a consequence the company is launching a new popcorn product that delivers 10 grams of protein per serving.  The new product, Protes, will be sold through 5,000 plus stores including GNC and Giant Eagle.  The products is an air-popped, whole grain, non-GMO, lower fat and guilt free but offers a protein shot that is new to the category.  The products is made with a whey protein isolate as it was the only ingredient that delivered a satisfying eating experience as well as delivering a minimum of 10 grams of protein that it is necessary to interest the sports nutrition consumer and meeting an acceptable price point for the product.  The company in determining to use whey protein isolate had to be very clear on its mission and clarify whether it is a vegan protein company or a protein snack company.  The company says that most grocery retailers are 5-10 years behind the trend when it comes to sports nutrition and they are playing catch up because the highest growth categories are sports nutrition and supplement sets, which is driving a real focus on grab and go items of sports nutrition like chips and cookies.