Insights

Build up your bottom line with high-protein

11 Nov 2021

4 min

As consumers become more health conscious, the demand for foods that offer various health benefits while still being tasty and easy to consume has grown. In particular there is interest for indulgent foods that are low in sugar or low glycemic index (GI), and in the convenience of on-the-go snacks. There is also the awareness that nutrition is aligned with fitness, and therefore the path to overall health and wellness - so it's important to fuel one's body appropriately for physical activity and daily life. 

This is why there has been increased interest in high protein products, especially with advances in food manufacture. These innovations have led away from the traditional rock-solid nutrition bars and chalky beverages that used to be a hallmark of protein-fortified foods and drinks. 

Why a high protein diet is high on the consumer want list

Protein offers many health benefits that resonate with what consumers are seeking. The benefits of protein range across physical, mental, and inner wellness.

Protein supports healthy weight management because it increases feelings of fullness, more so than carbohydrates or fats. This helps to regulate appetite, which leads to eating less and can aid weight loss over time. Along with reducing a person's appetite, protein helps to boost the body's metabolism so that people on high-protein diets have more energy to expend on a daily basis. 

And it's not just physical - protein intake can also impact mental well-being by stimulating essential, beneficial neurotransmitter activity in our brains. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in protein, can raise serotonin and melatonin levels, which help to improve the quality of sleep and as a result, enhance cognitive performance. It also plays an important role in the production of other neurotransmitters - including some that have a considerable effect on mood. 

It's well-known that many people don't eat enough protein, although they are avaliable in many types of food. In fact, a study in the US revealed that due to people skipping one meal a day, protein intake was low.[1]

While the increasing awareness of the importance of protein is good news, it's worth bearing in mind that not all protein is equal. The quality of the protein we consume is far more important than quantity, and this is where dairy stands out as an excellent source. 

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Dairy Protein - the complete source 

All protein is made up of amino acids, and there are 20 types of amino acids found in what we eat. Of these, nine are classed as essential because they are ones that our bodies can’t produce and need to come from diet. These essential amino acids are the basis for the separation of dietary proteins into two categories: complete and incomplete.

Complete proteins provide all the essential amino acids at the levels required by the body. And one of the best sources of complete protein is dairy and ingredients we derive from dairy, such as milk protein concentrate, whey protein and casein.

Chocolate protein powder in shaker and scoop on white

Dairy protein powder is extremely versatile and can be used to fortify everything from frozen desserts, to baked goods, and nutrition bars to ready-to drink beverages and yoghurts. They also offer a more neutral flavour compared with other sources of complete proteins like soy. This is a major factor in the ability to use dairy protein to create products that satisfy the delicious taste consumers are seeking from things like nutrition bars.

All in all, dairy protein is a fantastic, versatile ingredient that can be formulated into many applications to meet current and future consumer demands. The infographic shows how dairy protein in just one of its many forms - nutrition bars - has been trending. 

The opportunity to innovate with energy bars, workout shakes and more

The demand for protein-rich foods and snacks offers an opportunity for you to innovate with new products in applications from energy bars, post workout shakes, and low-calorie meal replacement bars, to stress-busters and more. NZMP's dairy protein ingredients can help you take advantage of this opportunity, by offering products fortified with the right kind of protein - complete protein.    

Our SureProtein™ bar ingredients can help you deliver products that offer appealing taste and texture, stability over shelf-life, desirable nutritional profile and completely natural ingredients.

Our R&D centre has completed over 600 tests and formulated more than 1300 bars. 

The characteristics of each ingredient in the SureProtein™ portfolio has been thoroughly evaluated through these tests, specifically in nutrition bar formats. This experience and expertise means we can help you target specific health benefits you are seeking to provide, with ingredients and formulation ideas.

NZMP’s SureProtein™

Range presents a chance to offer the tasty, high-protein, healthy products consumers seek. To find out more about taking advantage of the demand for high protein, try out the Build my bar tool. 

  • [1] Krok-Schoen, J. L., Price, A. A., Luo, M., Kelly, O. J. & Taylor, C. A. (2019). Low Dietary Protein Intakes and Associated Dietary Patterns and Functional Limitations in an Aging Population: A NHANES Analysis. The journal of nutrition, health & aging, 23, 338–347.

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