While sports people are the traditional target for high protein foods, there is a growing trend for other demographics, particularly seniors, to switch to a high protein diet for various health and wellbeing reasons. Protein-rich diets are perceived to offer various health benefits including supporting muscle health and mobility, managing weight and satisfying hunger.

The consumer shift to protein-rich foods has opened a world of opportunities for Westpro’s range of protein concentrates.

We’re well placed to meet these opportunities given the functional benefits of our proteins - casein, caseinate, milk protein concentrate, and whey protein concentrate - as ingredients for a raft of protein-enriched foods for specific dietary needs.    

Last year, 35% of all new products containing protein concentrate sourced from milk claimed to have high added protein, while the figure was even higher in Europe at 62% according to Mintel.

Protein is an essential nutrient for muscle recovery – the reason athletes or others who engage in regular exercise opt for high protein diets. The sports protein industry is big business and sports’ protein products experienced a strong year in 2023 according to Euromonitor.  The category for protein/energy bars reached over $US7.6 billion in retail value sales worldwide, accounting for 27% of the total sports nutrition market. This reflected a 9.5% growth in the global market for sports protein/energy bars, with some countries outstripping this growth including China (28.9%) and South Korea (20.1%).

It’s not just those exercising regularly who seek high protein foods. The strong performance of protein products is in part due to more consumers outside the target sporting demographic consuming such products. Higher protein intake can help deal with sarcopenia, an age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. With protein a building block for muscles, it is recommended that older adults consume more protein than their younger counterparts. For example, according to the Australian Government’s National Health & Medical Research Council, men aged over 70 are encouraged to eat 1.07g/kg of body weight daily, higher than 0.84g/kg of body weight for men under 70. The recommendation is to minimise the effects of sarcopenia and maintain stronger muscles for longer.

And our seniors are an active group, according to Euromonitor Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey. Most baby boomers exercise at least once or twice a week, while consumers in China and South Korea are the most likely to be doing daily exercise. The proportion of baby boomers getting no exercise is relatively small.

Check out our high-protein ingredients offering and learn how they could provide functional benefits in your product: