As a growing number of consumers across age groups and other demographics increasingly crave protein in convenient forms, the market for protein beverages steadily expands. Strong growth is expected over the next five years, as this market segment reaches new heights. Consumers are looking for more variety in protein sources, including plants, but this ingredient shift presents several formulation and production issues for beverage manufacturers.
Dairy protein beverages will remain dominant, but the rise of plant proteins is expected to continue. Coconut, cashew, hemp, oat, hazelnut, rice, pea, algae and mushrooms are some plant protein sources drawing consumer attention. Natural, organic, clean label and free from banned substances are trendy product characteristics for protein beverages, as manufacturers cater to the widening consumer base.