Whether they’re used by fitness enthusiasts or as on-the-go meal replacements, protein-fortified beverages are carving out their place in the beverage market. According to Chicago-based market research firm Mintel’s Global New Products Database, 74 beverages containing protein were released from January to June in 2013. In comparison, 49 drinks containing protein launched during that same time period in 2012.
“Overall, the protein market in ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, powdered beverages and meal replacements is up significantly versus last year, and we believe that trend will continue,” says Barry Spors, director of research and development for Wisconsin Specialty Protein, a subsidiary of Omega Protein Corp., Houston. “As we move to an ‘on-the-go’ society, demand has increased for healthy products that are quick and easy to consume and prepare. In addition, consumers are searching for wholesome and natural methods to ingest a well-balanced diet, which is contributing to the upward trend of the protein market in beverages.”