CHICAGO—Protein consumption is increasing in the egg, chicken, yogurt and nut/seed category, in comparison to the beef category, according to a report by The NPD Group.
Currently, 78% of consumers are looking toward a protein-rich diet, with half of consumers choosing non-meat sources as the best option, while the other half consider meat and fish the best source of protein.
The reasons often mentioned by Flexible Protein Users as barriers to getting more protein are that many sources of protein contain fat, are high in calories, or are too expensive. NPD reports that some of these perceived barriers could be at play for the beef category, which is not seeing the same consumption increases seen with other protein sources. The challenges for beef might be more about perception, since nearly half of primary grocery shoppers view animal protein as the best source of protein.
“Consumers want more protein in their diets. In fact, the only issue that U.S. adults are now checking on the Nutrition Facts label on the back of foods and beverages is the amount of protein," said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and author of Eating Patterns in America. “While our interest in protein is growing, we’re looking for alternatives to meat. Many of us are looking to lower the cost of our protein sources, and animal meat is generally more expensive than plant-based protein, which explains the growth in Greek yogurt and other alternate protein sources."
Protein is necessary in a healthy diet, but there is confusion on how much protein is required for each individual in a particular day.
“It is important for food and beverage marketers to highlight wherever possible that their products are a good source of lean protein. In fact, the protein study we conducted showed certain messages about protein resonated more than others," said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst and co-author of Protein Perceptions and Needs report. “The study also found nearly half of primary grocery shoppers have purchased protein-enriched foods, and many are willing to pay, or have already paid a premium for these products."