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What consumers look for in protein: Study

A report from Kerry looks at preferences and perceptions when it comes to protein products
Assortment of healthy protein source and body building food. Meat beef salmon chicken breast eggs dairy products cheese yogurt beans artichokes broccoli nuts oat meal. Copy space background, top view
Shutterstock/Antonina Vlasova

Kerry, a private-label food and beverage partner, has released a report on the protein market.

In a study of more than 6,300 consumers in 12 countries, the group found most protein consumers are motivated by health and wellness, and that consumers are willing to pay a premium for better protein content.

The report, titled "The Protein Mindset: Uncovering Consumers’ Perceptions and Preferences of Proteins," reveals 50% of respondents associated protein with “healthy diet” and 46% with “healthy lifestyle.” The study also showed that taste, quality of protein, and natural ingredients are the top three most important factors when it comes to choosing protein products.

Seventy-five per cent of global consumers surveyed said they would pay a higher price for protein fortified food and beverages, while more than half would pay a 10% premium, and 15% of consumers would be willing to pay a 25% premium.

Other findings in the Kerry study show that proteins are perceived as a supporter of overall health, which drives sales. In addition to being added to everyday foods and beverages, consumers are looking to incorporate protein more into indulgent snacks and treats.

“Accelerated by COVID-19 and consumer focus on health and rising interest in proactive — versus reactive — nutrition, rapid change has occurred recently in food and beverage markets around the world as broader awareness of the many benefits of protein increasingly drives purchase decisions among mainstream consumers,” said Soumya Nair, global director of consumer research and insights at Kerry.

Kerry’s full report can be found here.

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