Consumers Continue to Look For Protein In Their Drinks

Orange-protein-drink.jpgIn January of this year, Food Business News featured an article about the trends in beverages: 

“Consumers should expect to see continued changes in the beverage industry in 2016…sugary sodas and fruit juice beverages will continue to forfeit shelf space to drinks that promise energy, nutrition and satiety, all while being formulated with fewer, simpler ingredients, and less calories from sugars.

When it comes to juices, consumers today are thirsting for more than the empty calories associated with choices like apple and orange. They’re looking not only for taste, but searching the shelves for options that provide more nutrition. 

One way beverage manufacturers can respond to this demand is to add to their lines or reformulate using “super fruits” like acai berries, pomegranates or goji berries into their formulations to deliver the antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals consumers want. The downsides to this approach are that these fruits and other more exotic types can be costly to source and unfamiliar to consumers.

A more practical way to take advantage of the desire for more “better for you” beverages is to pack more into your existing line of juices, like apple, orange and other traditional flavors. One of the best ways to do that is by adding protein to your juices and other beverages. According to “Proteins – Classic, Alternative and Exotic Sources: Culinary Trend Tracking Series,” a report from Packaged Facts, 62% of consumers say they’re “making a point of getting enough protein” from the foods and beverages they consume. This is no surprise, as protein has been shown to help people control hunger, provide lasting energy, assist in sports recovery and help people maintain muscle mass as they age.

Grande Ultra® whey protein isolate has successfully been added to a variety of beverage products – RTD sports drinks, smoothie mixes and juices – to boost protein levels and make these products more nutritious. Whey proteins are considered the “gold standard” of proteins because they deliver the highest biological value of natural proteins, with the highest levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) from a natural food source. Grande Ultra® also offers the best combination of clarity and flavor in RTD beverages over a wide pH available in the world (up to 3.5 pH), an important feature especially for sports drinks and juices.

But what about the taste? It’s critical for juices and other beverages to deliver the natural taste of the fruit from which it’s made, and often adding protein can add a distinct flavor that’s not desirable. Unlike some protein ingredients, Grande Ultra features a neutral flavor perfect for integrating in just about any formulation.

As consumers look for better-for-you beverage options, manufacturers need practical ways to give consumers the nutrition and flavor that they want. Adding Grande Ultra to existing formulations – and to new options – could be “the best whey” to improve the health benefits consumers want, while delivering the natural flavors they crave.

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