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The alternative protein movement

Far more than a passing trend, plant-based proteins are here to stay.

Health and wellness trends have a significant impact on consumer diets. In the past, the focus was usually on removing negative elements such as salt, sugar and fat. But now, people are more aware of the positive attributes of ingredients, such as nutritional benefits or sustainability.

Protein variations

Proteins have become an important consideration for many consumers. A study by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in 2015 showed that globally, 59% of consumers globally are actively seeking foods that are high in protein, and plant-based protein sources in particular.

Proteins perform many functions in the body. As well as helping our body to grow and repair, they are essential for maintaining good health. In recent years, consumers have become more aware that plant-based protein sources offer similar or sometimes superior functional properties to animal-based proteins.

Consumers are seeking alternative proteins from a variety of foods and beverages. Two of the main categories are non-animal meat products, known as meat analogues, and high-protein nutritional beverages.

  

Meat analogues

All around the world, for various reasons, the number of flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan consumers is growing.

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Source: Mintel

Today consumers expect alternative protein products to deliver health benefits and taste great too. This means that they are looking for authentic meatiness, fattiness and juiciness, as well as a texture that resembles meat.

Givaudan is helping to bridge the taste gap between animal and plant protein with flavour solutions that provide an authentic meaty taste.

> Find out more about meat analogues

  

Nutritional beverages

The protein beverage market is growing at a rapid pace and the variety of product offerings is expanding. Product formats span from protein shakes made with whey or plant protein, to mainstream hydration drinks with high protein content.

Chocolate protein drink

These drinks appeal to a vast range of consumers, from young athletes and muscle builders to the growing retiree population, who are all seeking benefits such as muscle toning or sustained energy.

Using our knowledge and technologies, Givaudan has developed flavour solutions that allow for great taste in both dairy and plant protein.

Read more about nutritional beverages

      

    Taste challenges

    Product developers know that there are real challenges that come with using alternative proteins in their products, and consumers know that the taste of alternative protein products can sometimes be disappointing.

    So, how can we craft great-tasting products using alternative sources of protein?

    Givaudan has been working with alternative proteins for over 20 years. This has enabled us to develop extensive knowledge of their functionality, nutritional and taste characteristics.

    We are able to improve the palatability of protein products, from pea to whey, from mycoprotein to algae. Our approach is based on collaboration, co-development and a genuine desire to make products that consumers love.

      

    Watch the interview about alternative sources of protein

     

      

    Sustainability

    As well as health and wellness benefits, plant-based proteins are strongly linked to sustainable and ethical values. It is estimated that the world’s population will grow from 7 billion today to 9.5 billion in 2050. Protein consumption is predicted to increase by 70% over that period, due to the increase in income and standards of living.

    It is very unlikely that we will be able to find sufficient resources to meet this surge in demand through animal protein production. Instead, experts predict that the gap will be filled by plant protein in the short term and by algal and insect protein in the mid-term. This fascinating shift holds many opportunities, which we are excited to continue exploring in the future.

    Meat and meat consumption impacts the environment more than any other food we eat, mainly because livestock requires much more land, food, water and energy than plants. Take a look at the resources needed to produce a typical hamburger. About a quarter of the world's land is used for grazing. A third of all planted crops worldwide go to feed livestock. A tenth of all freshwater goes to support livestock and their feed crops. In addition, each of these creates wastewater and runoff, as well as energy consumption. Though it is unlikely humans will move to an entirely plant-based diet, there is a growing understanding that doing so leads to a more sustainable future.

    > Read more about sustainability in Givaudan

     

    Producing 100 gramme of hamburger meat requires

    Resources needed for 100 grammes hamburger