When comparing Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers, most people would agree that each generation has their own set of traits, preferences, and beliefs that distinguish them from other generations. Millennials are more tech-savvy than Baby Boomers, for example, making Millennials a popular target for new electronics, mobile devices, apps, and other cutting edge products. In the world of nutrition, things are no different, as each generation is targeted for their different eating preferences. You don’t see Baby Boomers being targeted for flashy energy drinks, for example, just as you don’t see Millennials being targeted for nutrient-rich health shakes.
That being said, while there are many noticeable differences between each generation, if there’s one trait they all have in common, it’s the increasing desire for functional and healthy food and beverage options. According to Nielsen’s 2015 Global Health & Wellness Survey, 88% of respondents from all demographics—from Generation Z to Baby Boomers—said they’re willing to pay more for healthier, more natural foods, with many expressing a desire for more functional foods as well.
Likewise, according to Packaged Facts’ report, Functional Foods: Key Trends & Developments in Ingredients, Millennials prefer foods that are fortified with protein, calcium, fiber, and vitamins and minerals, with an increased demand for more healthful snack foods, like yogurt and nutrition bars. Gen Xers share similar interests, with Baby Boomers seeking functional foods that help prevent or mitigate age-related health issues. For Boomers, ingredients like calcium, protein, fiber, heart-healthy ingredients, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and whole grains are all desirable.
Fabian Williams, Technical Sales Manager at Grande Custom Ingredients Group, says today’s consumers are more aware than ever of the importance certain foods play in having a well-balanced diet. “Consumers of all ages today have a better understanding of the foods they’re eating, and how they impact their health. Millennials and Gen Xers pay close attention to their food’s nutrition labels, for example, and Baby Boomers look for foods with overall health benefits and messaging. If there’s one ingredient that really stands out, however, and meets many diverse demands, regardless of age, it’s protein.”
Using Whey Protein to Combine Taste and Health for All Ages
Although taste is always the top consideration when buying food, healthiness is quickly becoming a must-have trait for many consumers, putting the pressure on food and beverage manufacturers to create great tasting foods with functional health benefits. That being said, food and beverage manufacturers are often skeptical that this trade-off is possible, but whey protein can be used to meet the many functional health demands of consumers, while also maintaining your application’s taste and texture.
As Innovators of Dairy-Based Food Ingredients™ our Grande Bravo® functional whey proteins are some of the best in the industry in terms of maintaining—and even enhancing—taste and texture, and can be used as a high-quality replacement for high-cost, high-fat ingredients like cream, butter, milk, eggs, and cream cheese. It has excellent versatility, working in a wide range of applications, including soups, sauces, salad dressings, dips, baked goods, frozen desserts, and more.
Similarly, our Grande Ultra® whey protein isolate (WPI) can’t be beat when it comes to adding a protein boost to beverage formulations. Whey protein is the highest-quality protein source available, and Grande Ultra WPI’s clean, neutral flavor offers the ideal balance of taste and clarity across a wide pH range.
Want to learn more about how whey protein can help create healthier, more functional food and beverages that appeal to all generations? Contact our expert food scientists.