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The Protein Update

An icon of an energy bar or protein bar.

The health and wellness trend has continued to transform the convenience store landscape. The convenience channel has recognised the growing potential for high-margin products and market has exploded with new products and innovations.

A recent report from market research company Euromonitor International said: “few ingredients in recent memory have experienced protein’s sustained and meteoric rise”.

“Thanks to a greater emphasis on communicating protein’s health claims beyond muscle health, marketers are generating interest among new demographics, including females, millennials and the elderly,” said the Euromonitor International report.

“As protein’s health halo continues to shine brighter, food manufacturers are increasingly pumping up the protein content of their fortified/functional food and beverages, in an attempt to capture consumer spending.”

Convenience stores are catering to customers who are buying protein products in small quantities for immediate consumption.

Change in the market

Also known as ‘sports nutrition’, as a category it is expected to reach a value of $1 billion, up to $1.2 billion by 2022.

According to Vitaco, protein bars are responsible for the majority of the growth, with a value increase of 9% in 2017.

“Sports nutrition delivered consistent growth over the review period, driven by Australia’s strong fitness culture and the wide availability of such products, with a plethora of brands on the market and constant new product launches,” said Vitaco.

As consumers continue to become more educated on protein and its benefits for muscle-building and muscle recovery, there has become more appeal to mainstream customers, as well a rise in popularity for plant-based protein.

“Plant-based protein powders have increased in popularity, with health-conscious consumers taking a greater interest in the ingredients in the sports nutrition products they consume, favouring natural ingredients,” Vitaco said.

“Manufacturers have launched plant, pea, rice and soy proteins, products featuring natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins, and vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free products. Furthermore, sports nutrition and packaged food manufacturers are increasingly offering protein products in formats other than bars, powders or RTDs, with protein cookies, protein balls and high-protein chia puddings available.”

Another area of the market that has changed over the last six months it the acquisition of Crankt protein products, by Freedom Foods.

A spokesperson for Crankt told C&I: “Consumers dropping into these outlets are generally in a hurry and always looking for a quick fix, an on-the-go option – whether is a loyal consumer or a new consumer”.

“Although ranging may be limited, it is the placement which gives exposure and any outstanding promotional activity that grabs attention.”

“As they move to the cashier where they are stationary for a few minutes, they might see our product placed in front of them and that’s when a purchase opportunity is evident,” Ms Chowhan said.

“Offering sample tastings, along with promotions and giveaways to excite the customers are all optimal ways to further maximise sales.”

NPD

Vitaco have released a few new protein products onto the market, including Musashi Protein Wafers, Musashi Deluxe Bars, and a Musashi Muscle Recovery Protein Shake.

The Protein Wafers are a new innovation for 2018 and consist of a four-layer wafer bar with 11grams of protein and available in two flavours, chocolate and vanilla.

The Deluxe Bars feature three flavours including Peanut Crunch, Rocky Road and Choc Berry Mud Cake with 20grams of protein, low in calories and sugar.

Musashi also have a Muscle Recovery Protein Shake with 30grams of protein, glutamine, and branch chain amino acids available in both chocolate and vanilla flavour.

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