Protein has seen simpler days—when protein supplements were consumed almost exclusively by bodybuilders and athletes, and when protein ingredients consisted primarily of animal- and soy-derived options.
Those days are long gone; today’s protein market is wide-reaching in terms of both consumers and ingredient options, both of which have contributed to the growth of the $16 billion market.
One factor driving growth is protein’s new-found mass-market appeal, driven in part by wider knowledge of the health benefits associated with protein consumption. Consumers can turn to a variety of protein ingredients to meet desired intakes; increasingly, they’re turning to the expanding lineup of plant-derived options such as pea, soy, canola, algal, garbanzo, lentil, fava and flax.
Despite shifting consumption patterns, the global market for whey protein is expected to grow to $13.5 billion in 2020 from $9.2 billion in 2015, reflecting an annual compound growth rate of 6.5 percent, according to BCC Research.
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