Cheese and apple
The power of protein

In the U.S., the marketing opportunity for high protein-containing products is large and growing. It is a notable trend with broad-reaching appeal.

Nearly six out of 10 Americans consider the protein content when buying packaged food or beverages, according to a 2012 survey from the International Food Information Council. More and more, consumers understand its power:

  • 88% recognize protein helps build muscle,
  • 60% agree it creates a feeling of fullness, and
  • 60% indicate a diet high in protein may support weight loss.

So, where is this trend heading and where does dairy fit in?

According to the New Nutrition Business 12 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2014, protein is a trend that will not end anytime soon. It began with a niche of early adopters, but now a steadily growing number of consumers embrace protein as an ingredient that's beneficial for their wellness as well as naturally functional and easy to understand.

As more protein-rich options become available across multiple food categories, consumers are likely to become more selective about choosing what best suit their health needs and palettes. The biggest opportunities for dairy include a focus on:

  • benefits that are a logical fit with dairy
  • benefits that are naturally occurring
  • reinvented product formats or taking traditional regional dairy products from one geography and launching them into new geographies where they are new and exciting but adapted to suit the tastes of the new markets
  • re-establishing dairy’s strengths in consumers’ minds. The recent surge in higher-protein products is one element of this since protein significantly adds to a dairy product’s pleasurable mouth-feel

Dairy has a big advantage in providing health-minded consumers what they look for. Why? Dairy has led the way with consumers by being seen as real food that provides benefits not just for consumers interested in improving their performance, but for the average person looking to fuel their body and nourish their mind.

With dairy products’ halo of natural, simple food, timing couldn’t be better for the dairy industry to invest in the health and wellness market.

Where do you think the biggest opportunities for milk, cheese and yogurt are this year?

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Charged with uniting the industry to drive dairy forward, our experts create, collect and analyze consumer insights, scientific research and innovation opportunities. DairyMinded provides perspectives on industry opportunities and challenges, as well as on the work of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® and Dairy Research Institute®.

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