CHICAGO — Protein2O, maker of whey-based protein waters, is debuting new Plant Protein Waters. The company views this expansion into plant-based protein as “an immediate growth vehicle beyond its premium whey-based products,” Protein2O said.

Available in blackberry basil, lemongrass chamomile and key lime coconut flavors, Protein2O Plant Protein Water contains 15 grams of non-GMO pea protein isolate and fewer than 80 calories per 11-oz can. The beverages are vegan, soy-free and gluten-free.

Protein2O spent the last two years wrestling with the formulation for the new plant protein waters, the company said. The main obstacle to overcome was answering consumer demand for great taste and non-gritty mouthfeel without sugar or too many calories.

“Developing our new Protein2O Plant Protein Waters has been one of the biggest challenges in our company’s history,” said Rob Kral, co-founder and vice president of Protein2O. “Plant proteins come with an enormous set of challenges, and it took a great group of scientists and formulators to keep knocking down walls until we got this right. To say we’re excited about this would be the understatement of the year.”

Protein2O Plant Protein Waters will roll out to retail in May. The beverages initially were slated to debut last week at Natural Products Expo West, but the show was postponed due to caution regarding the coronavirus.