While protein remains in high demand among consumers, recent product claims emphasize quality over quantity, Ms. Mast said.
“At last year’s Expo East and even the year before, everyone was making a protein claim, and people were adding whey protein and finding ways to make protein claims with things like pancake mixes and chips and other snacks,” she said. “I think we’re going to see this shift to focusing on higher quality protein and these more personalized options over just protein quantity, as well as getting into more of the plant-based proteins for folks who don’t want whey or any animal-based protein.”
From beef jerky to bone broth, a growing number of brands are touting the use of grass-fed, humanely raised and sustainably sourced protein. An example is Hip Chick Farms, Inc., Sebastopol, Calif., which offers a range of frozen products made with free-range chicken raised without hormones or antibiotics and fed an all-vegetarian diet. Bonafide Provisions Bone Broth, Carlsbad, Calif., features organic varieties made with grass-fed beef or pasture-raised chicken.
New protein products also are being positioned with specific benefits, such as Boulder-based Healthy Skoop’s new plant-based Sleep Protein powder, featuring tryptophan, tart cherry, B vitamins and calcium and magnesium, all of which are purported to support relaxation.
Another exhibitor, Phenom Nutrition, L.L.C., Wellington, Fla., claims to be launching the first 100% natural protein powder for active children and teenagers. The protein is a blend of whey isolate and casein protein and is sourced from cattle that are free of steroids, growth hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, according to the company.