KANSAS CITY — A proliferation of protein sources has made an impact on the food industry in recent years. Formulators may wish to do some homework on the ingredients, be they sourced from peas, beans or even algae. Is the supply of the protein source increasing? At what percentage may the ingredients be used in applications? Perhaps most importantly, how do they affect taste?
Experimenting with new protein sources may continue. The market for alternative proteins, or those beyond fish and meat, is expected to grow at least 14% annually through 2024, according to a 2016 report from Boston-based Lux Research called “Finding a Winning Formula for Alternative Proteins.”
Food developers will seek to explore new sources and create new formulations to mitigate the negative environmental impact of the existing protein supply chain, according to the report. Soybeans, peas and oats have emerged as dominant plant sources based on their nutritional content and commercial value, according to the report. Technology will be vital in improving protein flavor and creating new food and beverage products.
Diet choices may expand the use of alternative proteins as well. Vegetarian claims rose 25% and vegan claims rose 257% in global food and drink launches from September 2010-August 2011 to September 2015-August 2016, Mintel said when giving food and drink trends for 2017.
“In 2017, the food and drink industry will welcome more products that emphasize plants as ingredients in recipes for home cooking and packaged products that leverage plants as a way to align with consumers’ nearly omnipresent health and wellness priorities,” Mintel said. “This will lead to more innovations that capitalize on and also exalt the inherent goodness of plants.”