GLOBAL May 2020
Growing importance of Plant-based Proteins for the global consumers
A series of webinars held during the Vitafoods Digital Week which was scheduled from 11 – 13 May had revealed interesting insights on the growth of plant proteins to supply consumer needs for healthier and safer alternatives to animal-derived proteins.
In a webinar conducted by Carole Bingley, Technical Specialist of UK-based Reading Scientific Service Ltd, she highlighted that the global protein supplements market was estimated at US$17.55 billion in 2019 with a projected CAGR of 8% from 2020 to 2027. Based on market trends, there is an increasing consumer demand for ethically sourced, sustainable and healthier protein sources.
In addition, alternative (plant-based/other) proteins have now become more mainstream whereas 'traditional' (animal) sources continue to remain popular. Presently, the EU market contributed more than 40% of the plant-based alternative market globally.
Innova Database findings showed that there was a growing number of plant protein claims in new food and beverage products globally from 2015 to 2019 with an impressive annual CAGR of 47%. (See Chart 1.0). Meanwhile, the following Chart 2.0 showed the proportion of new products launched which claimed to have high protein contents in their products. From both charts, it can be deduced that there is a growing trend for manufacturers to launch new products with a strong or high 'protein' claims. In addition to that, manufacturers are also increasingly looking at ways to apply or infuse 'plant-based' proteins into their products.
Another separate webinar conducted by Mindy Leveille, Global Strategic Marketing Manager - Proteins at Kerry, a global leader for taste and nutrition, showed the growing importance of plant-based protein for consumers. Mindy highlighted the growing importance of protein nutrition as well as plant-based diet as compared to other forms of diets in the past 2 years. This can be seen in a major survey findings compiled in FMCG Gurus – Active Nutrition Report 2020. (See Chart 3.0 and 4.0)
Mindy also showed the growing versatility of proteins in food applications as it can be applied in many types of products from yoghurts to snack bars, sports drinks, ice cream, cookies and coffee amongst others. This indirectly satisfies consumers who are actively seeking out protein in their regular diet. Nevertheless, despite the growing popularity of plant proteins, she reminded that they are not complete as they have lower levels of certain amino acids as compared to animal-derived proteins. (See Chart 5.0)
As consumers are becoming more aware of protein quality, they will seek a balance between plant-based proteins and animal-derived proteins while not forfeiting the importance of 'sustainability', 'animal welfare' and 'food safety'.



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