Protein Potential

Nearly half of U.S. consumers buy protein-enriched foods, are willing to pay more

Published in CSP Daily News

CHICAGO -- In their quest to get more protein in their diets, about half of U.S. consumers purchase protein-enriched foods, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Cereal and bread are the most likely protein-enriched foods to be purchased, according to NPD's recently released report, Protein Perceptions & Needs.

In addition to cereal and bread, protein bars and pasta are other protein-enriched foods consumers buy. About one in five consumers say they have paid more for protein-enriched items, and protein bars are among the items most likely to command a premium, finds the NPD research. With 78% of U.S. consumers telling NPD that protein contributes to a healthy diet, protein is currently very much top-of-mind with grocery shoppers.

"Going forward food and beverage marketers should look for opportunities to fortify their products with protein, but it shouldn't stop there," said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. "Inform consumers about what a great source of protein your product is, and why it matters to their health."

Not only are consumers willing to pay more for protein-enriched products, they want more of them. Among the other foods consumers would like to see protein-enriched are bagels and frozen foods.

"The challenge for the marketers of protein-fortified foods is to get noticed among the surrounding protein sources that are large categories and household staples," said Seifer. "Look to make inroads via snack foods that are consumed as a snack or as part of a meal as a way to infiltrate consumers' diets."

The NPD Group, Chicago, provides global information and advisory services. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food and foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys and video games.