Irish dairy ingredients specialist Glanbia Nutritionals once filled its sights almost exclusively with the sports nutrition sector, but the explosion of interest in protein means the ‘ordinary’ mainstream food industry is a bigger and bigger target.
“Increasingly ordinary food companies, or branded food companies, are looking to rebalance the macronutrient profile of their products and protein is one of the most obvious things to take a look at,” Glanbia Nutritionals’ European commercial director, Carla Clissman, told us at FIE in Frankfurt last week.
Beverages, chocolates, caramels, biscuits, creams and cereals were some of the ‘ordinary’ formats where whey and other protein forms were being introduced.
The rise in protein interest is coupled with rising obesity rates – and associated chronic diseases like diabetes – with food makers seeing the protein’s satiety potential as a means to tackle the problem, even if sedentary lifestyles may play a bigger part in the rise of globesity.
The sports nutrition sector remains important and Glanbia has invested in sports brands to, “practice what we preach.”
Clissman said the European market represented a small part of the global market – about 13-16%. “So the potential for growth in Europe is huge and we are starting to see the start of that growth but the way that active lifestyle is being interpreted in Europe is slightly different in Europe than in the US.”
“So the dependence on pure supplements is not absolute in Europe – people also like to look at getting some of those health benefits from their everyday foods.”