“Niche” circles out, “Protein” challenges up

On November 24th, we held the Glanbia Sports and Lifestyle Nutrition Seminar in shanghai. Glanbia Nutritionals joined hands with many big names and brands in the industry and discussed the latest market dynamics and trends with the participating guests to view how protein “circles out” and “springs up” in the different product application innovations.

The categories of domestic sport, active and healthy lifestyle products has a market value of US$1.9 billion, and it is expected that compound annual growth rate for 2020-25 is +15%, indicating a great potential for growth in these areas. Daily fitness enthusiasts have become an important driving force for the mainstream growth of sports nutrition products.

Zhang Guangming, the founder of healthy snack brand ffit8, talked about the future of the transforming snack market. The lifestyles of a new generation of young people presents characteristics of “snack-oriented meals, health-oriented snacks, sports & fitness oriented lifestyles and diversity for consumption content." Examples include a “One Bottle, Double Enjoyment” protein powder and a meal replacement milkshake containing triple high-quality protein launched by ffit8, as well as the high dietary broken-down protein wafer under its cooperation with Glanbia which exemplifies their use of “technological innovation to make young people eat healthier."

With the kicking off of the ‘2030 Healthy China Strategy’, the body-fitness crowd has expanded in all directions. Eric Wang, General Manager of Greater China for Glanbia Performance Nutrition, said that even during the pandemic, 59% of Chinese adult consumers pointed out that physical exercise still helps to improve way of life. And whey-based protein products account for 88% of the entire sport nutritionals market, which fully reflects the feature of “whey is king”. As a leading sports nutrition brand, ON also accompanied athletes to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in conjunction with their 35th birthday.

Professor Zhang Li’na from Jiangnan University and Drew Campbell, CEO of the Asia Pacific Region of GPNi Global Performance Nutrition Institute, through their own research, explained the role and functional characteristics of whey protein on the human body from a scientific point of view and how to address the idea that “excessive protein intake may get just the opposite."

Protein Prevails, Innovation Leads

As a recently “niche” topic, protein has circled out and jumped into the mainstream market. High-protein products have crossed the borders from traditional powders to different market segments. As one of the companies that first proposed and promoted nutritional bar solutions, Glanbia has a deep understanding of the nutritional bar and snack market. Sonja Matthews, Market Analysis Senior Strategy Manager, shared: “Modern snacks mainly include four driving forces, i.e. nourishment, pleasure, distraction and optimization. For Chinese consumers snacking in the main, is about comfort & reward, pleasure (73%) and distraction (80%)are the dominant drivers. Therefore, to be successful, any snack product needs to meet these driving forces, especially so for protein bar users.” From this perspective, Judy Jiang, Business Development Director, Wang Yuhui, Application Engineer, from Glanbia, together with Sylvia Li, Food Application Manager from Bühler, spoke of how to overcome the problem of “not synonymous in taste and nutrition”, and introduced the concept of enjoying healthy snacks suitable for various consumption scenarios, including protein cookies and high-fiber meal replacement bars, etc.

Another market segment that cannot be ignored is ready-to-drink beverages. Jessie Ge, Tetra Pak’s Market Service Manager, said that although protein powders currently account for 68% market share of global consumption of high-protein nutritionals, ready-to-drink beverages are showing the strongest growth with a compound annual growth rate of +10.1% (Year 21-24). Health-oriented, fresh & organic, convenient, and mass consumption habits are significant consumer trends. From the perspective of raw materials, whey protein still occupies a core position. He Xiaoyu, Asia Pacific R&D Manager, Janet Dong, Senior Product Manager, from Glanbia, and Albert Shao, Tetra Pak Processing Solutions Manager, explained how to create a successful “star” product from the perspective of whey function application characteristics and process equipment, and demonstrated new concepts such as whey protein jelly, protein ice tea, and banana whey protein drink released by the two companies.

Glanbia Nutritionals would like to thank the participants of the seminar, and we look forward to hosting again next year.

For more highlights, scan the QR code or watch the replay here.

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