Over the last few years, food companies have seen consumer preferences shift toward better-for-you options. A current hot trend: Optimizing protein intake.

In fact, a recent survey by U.S. Soy found that getting enough protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats are top priorities for over 70% of U.S. consumers. 

U.S.-grown soy is a cost efficient and sustainable protein option to consider adding to products, and it comes in many forms from tofu to soy protein isolates.

CALLOUT - Did you know: U.S. Soy is one of the few plant sources that offers a protein quality comparable to animal proteins?

Four in ten consumers have increased their consumption of soy-based protein in the past year. Consumers prefer soy over other plant-based proteins because of its health benefits, taste and affordability.

Due to its consumer popularity as well as its health and sustainability benefits, many food companies are adding soy protein to their product offerings.

U.S. Soy is excited about the increased attention on soy protein and looks forward to partnering with U.S. food companies to create products that are not only better for the consumer, but also better for the environment and the food industry’s bottom line.

Baking-and-Snack-Cheesecake.jpgSource: ©The United Soybean Board

Products that Pack a Protein Punch

The high protein snack category is a growing market opportunity for baked goods and snack food manufacturers as consumer interest in protein grows and snacking occasions increase. Today’s consumers, with busy lifestyles, rely more on snacks to get the nutrition they need – often using them as complete meal replacements. 

To meet this growing consumer demand, soy protein isolate is a popular ingredient choice for protein fortification due to its high protein content and functionality. When used in bakery applications, soy protein isolate can increase protein content of a diverse range of baked products, including standard yeast-leavened doughs, as well as chemically-leavened products, such as cookies, cakes and baking mixes.

“Using ingredients like soy protein can help attract consumers interested in protein, as well as those seeking to include more plant-based sources in their diets. Ingredients like soy protein isolate can help formulators boost the protein levels of their products, while delivering excellent performance across a wide range of bakery applications.”   Jean Heggie, U.S. Soy Protein Expert 

Soy protein isolate is also widely used to deliver protein content in nutrition bars, extruded snacks, snack mixes and cereal applications. 

Saving Money with Soy Protein

In addition to increasing the protein content of a product, soy protein isolate can also help food companies enhance their operation's bottom line. 

In many applications, soy protein can be a cost-effective way to achieve higher protein levels, compared to dairy proteins. Particularly in nutrition bars, using soy protein instead of dairy protein can significantly reduce ingredient costs while delivering excellent texture, taste and comparable protein quality. Soy protein provides greater price stability and supply reliability, delivering long-term economic benefits for food companies.

Farmer-Image_Resized_BS.jpgSource: ©The United Soybean Board

Shining the Spotlight on U.S. Grown

Consumers are not only asking more questions about the health benefits of the food they’re eating, but there is also increased conversation around where ingredients are sourced and how they are raised. In fact, 75% of consumers want to learn more about where their food comes from. 

“As farmers, our job is to feed America and that is a role we take seriously. U.S. Soy is working in partnership with food companies to provide a sustainable, high quality protein solution that supports our food supply chain here in the USA.” — Belinda Burrier, U.S. Soybean Farmer

Incorporating soy protein into food products provides manufacturers an opportunity to call out soy’s sustainability and U.S. grown benefits on product packaging. This is a promising sales driver since over half of U.S. consumers (56%) are willing to pay a premium for environmentally friendly products.


Ready to learn more? Connect with a U.S. Soy expert to discuss how soy protein can help meet your organization’s formulation needs. Visit food.ussoy.org to get started.