Protein Soars in Popularity

Protein has never been more popular. Research results from NPD Group and the International Food Information Council (IFIC) all show increased consumer interest and desire for protein in their daily diets, yet NPD further reported, based on its December 2013 survey, that half of consumers prefer meatless protein choices citing fat, calories and pricing as a concern.

PARK RIDGE, Ill.—Protein has never been more popular. Research results from NPD Group and the International Food Information Council (IFIC) all show increased consumer interest and desire for protein in their daily diets, yet NPD further reported, based on its December 2013 survey, that half of consumers prefer meatless protein choices citing fat, calories and pricing as a concern.

Protein plays a role in weight management by increasing feelings of satiety. In addition, protein supplies energy, can help build muscle strength and contribute to a healthy pregnancy. Eggs and egg ingredients can help create a meatless option, while supplying a readily available source of high-quality protein. One large egg contains the equivalent of just 70 calories with 6 grams of protein, 12% of the recommended daily value.

“In addition, when consumers read product labels to look for the protein source, eggs are easily and readily recognizable," said Elisa Maloberti, American Egg Board director of egg product marketing.

Consumers do read labels and do look for protein content. The NPD Group study showed 24.9% of consumers look for protein on the Nutrition Facts label and 78% of consumers said protein contributes to a healthy diet. Half of those consumers say they want more protein in their diet. IFIC's 2013 survey concurs with these findings, showing 57% of Americans say they actively try to consume more protein.

Another protein resonating well with consumers, especially those seeking meatless options, is soy protein. Soy protein ingredients have no cholesterol and are low in saturated fat. Soy protein has been shown to reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and triglycerides and reduced risk of cancer. In the Food Product Design FoodTech Toolbox, the Infographic: Soy Protein Ingredients dives into protein content and amino-acid profile in soy ingredients.

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