Protein is the powerhouse nutrient, used for increasing satiety levels, muscle building promoting weight loss and as an energy source. It is rapidly gaining popularity in novel foodstuffs for today’s food and drink industry.

Despite meat sales dropping slightly due to flexitarian and vegetarian trends picking up pace, product innovation around protein is far from slowing. Alternative proteins are stealing the limelight, boasting health benefits as well as positive links to sustainability and future food supply. Investment in the future of protein is something that could not come at a better time, with the world’s population estimated to reach an astounding 10 billion by 2050.

In this post, we take a look at some of the latest protein innovations to set the convenience food sector alight.

Greeny goodness

Plant-based proteins are leading the way on the snacking aisle, replacing many meat-protein snack options, with quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds and lentils considered to be top dogs in the category.

The up and coming alternative is also performing in the drinks category. Newly launched US product, Evolve Muscle Milk, from CytoSport is naturally flavoured and provides 20 vitamins and minerals. Demonstrating that beauty really should come from the inside out, personal care brand Burt’s Bees has launched a plant-based protein shake.

At Cornelius, we provide a range of plant-based proteins which deliver an array of health benefits, including rice and pea protein in concentrate and isolate, as well as oat protein.  

Wahey for whey!

The global whey protein market was valued at 6.1 billion dollars in 2016 and is forecast to grow at 7.6 per cent CAGR to reach a whopping 9 billion dollars by 2022. 

At Cornelius, we distribute BiPRO, 97 per cent whey protein isolate, from Davisco. BiPRO WPI is described as the first of a new generation of dairy ingredients, which combine superior nutrition, enhanced functionality, and neutral flavour. The ingredient is completely natural, and contains very low levels of lactose making it more digestible for those who have intolerances.

Myprotein has a premium diet Isolate “Impact diet isolate” which contains highly pure protein, Carnipure (L-carnitine), green tea extract, guarana and choline.

Other new products to make a recent appearance on the market are a whey protein iced coffee from Arla Foods and new sugar, gluten and fat-free functional protein water from WOW PROTEIN. Boost Juice are also getting in on the whey action with their Gym Junkie juice.

Sustainably-stable insects 

The western world is gradually starting to warm to the idea of insect protein. Increased awareness of its wide-reaching benefits and its merits as a potential solution to future food supply shortage has had a part to play. Insect-derived protein is a very powerful source of protein. For example, cricket flour can contain around 60 per cent, compared to wheat flour, which contains only 10 per cent.

What’s more, the environmental benefits are second to none; to produce 1lb of edible food, one cow will yield 100 times as much pollution as an orchestra of crickets and need 12.5 times as much feed.

Yumpa Bar has launched a delicious range of natural energy bars made with protein-packed cricket flour, nuts, dried fruit, seeds. And, what’s more, they’re served in completely compostable packaging developed by Parkside Flexibles, an innovative UK based packaging solutions provider.

In addition, Jimini’s “think bigger, eat smaller’ concept includes ranges including grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms. Whilst French company Micronutris offer a huge range of innovative insect based products including chocolates, pastas and biscuits. Here’s a useful Jimini’s Infographic to demonstrate the benefits of insect protein.  

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for novel proteins on the supermarket shelves. And the next time you’re telling someone about insect-protein over dinner, just remember, you heard it here first!  If you’d like more information on the Cornelius ingredients mentioned in this post, please contact our sales team.