'Sportification' of non-athletes behind recent protein trend, SPINS says

CHICAGO — More Americans are contributing to the protein trend, according to a recent SPINSights report on protein, with as many as 66% of Americans looking to consume "as much protein as possible" in 2016. That has helped feed growth across several protein segments, including liquid protein and meal replacements, which are up 6.1% to $2.5 billion for the 52 weeks ended July 16, SPINS noted. Sales of powder proteins across conventional multi-outlets were up 2.8% to $851.9 million and perofrmance bar sales were up 2.7% to $311.6 million.

Layering SPINS proprietary functional ingredient and positioning group attributes over the protein supplement segment, SPINS data uncovered which protein sources are actually fueling that growth. Sales of plant protein from multiple sources were up 23.1% to $157 million in that 52-week period. Animal protein products were up 45.8% to $55 million and pea protein products were up 167.1% to $15 million.

"There are a few drivers of this growth," SPINS noted, "including broad demand for health and wellness products as a lifestyle and the sportification of non-athletes."

In its report, SPINS also identified an emerging traceability trend. "Consumers of protein products want cleaner labels and more transparency," SPINS noted. "Some of today's brands are taking this a step further by allowing consumers to trace their products' ingredients by specific batches."

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