Grass-Fed Trend Resonates with Today's Consumers glanbia nutritionals

Grass-Fed Trend Resonates with Today's Consumers

Consumers’ interest in grass-fed proteins is on the rise. Grass-fed proteins check all the right boxes - health, animal welfare, sustainability, and premium quality. Learn more about this growing trend, the rise of Truly Grass Fed dairy products, and how manufacturers can incorporate grass-fed ingredients into a variety of products.

Why Consumers are Choosing Grass-Fed

In the U.S., grass-fed meat is driving growth in grass-fed proteins. Retail sales rose 21 percent from 2017 to 2018, and another 16 percent from 2018 to 2019.1 Grass-fed is connecting with consumers on several levels. Top grass-fed benefits attracting consumers include taste and health, as well as animal welfare. Grass-fed also addresses consumers’ growing demand for premium products and for food choices that reflect their values.

Grass-fed claims provide transparency—more important than ever as consumers seek to learn more about how their food is produced. Consumers choosing grass-fed products intuitively understand that grass is the natural diet for these animals and see grass-fed as a higher quality option to conventional versions. 

As more consumers learn about grass-fed benefits, manufacturers can seize this opportunity to elevate their products by incorporating grass-fed ingredients. Though grass-fed meat has the spotlight, grass-fed dairy is next in line.

Truly Grass Fed: Meeting the Standards

When it comes to grass-fed milk, the term “grass-fed” can mean different things to different producers. For example, there can be big variations in the proportion of grass in the cow’s diet. To promote standardization and transparency for consumers, the Truly Grass Fed program was developed. In order to qualify as Truly Grass Fed milk, several requirements must be met:

  • Cows must receive 95 percent of their nutritional feed from grass
  • No rBST (growth hormone) can be used
  • The milk must be Non-GMO Project Verified

Cows are grazed on grasslands for up to 300 days a year and housed for the remainder for animal welfare purposes. During the housing period, the cows continue on a diet of grass silage with some limited supplementation. Only products that contain milk or a milk-derived ingredient that meets these standards can make a Truly Grass Fed claim and use the seal.

grass and cows

Truly Grass Fed Dairy Products and Ingredients

Products that can make a Truly Grass Fed claim include the full range of dairy products (such as milk, creamers, cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream), as well as a number of products beyond the dairy category. The development of Truly Grass Fed whey protein ingredients has made this possible. Truly Grass Fed dairy ingredients, which support a wide range of applications, include:

  • Whey protein isolates (WPI)
  • Whey protein concentrates (WPC)
  • Milk protein isolates (MPI)
  • Milk protein concentrates (MPC)
  • Acid casein

The availability of these ingredients opens up a number of exciting opportunities for manufacturers who wish to tap into the grass-fed trend. Products that can benefit from the functionality and messaging offered by Truly Grass Fed ingredients include:

  • Nutrition bars
  • Ready-to-drink beverages
  • Beverage mixes
  • Soup mixes
  • Bakery products
woman with bar

The Future of Food

As food and beverage manufacturers strive to create the products that today’s consumers want, they’re focusing closely on consumers’ top-of-mind concerns—such as health, animal welfare, and sustainability. Strategies that include transparency, responsible ingredient sourcing, and nutritious products are essential for addressing these issues and connecting with consumers.

The availability of personalized choices that consider consumers’ beliefs and preferences is increasingly important. Consumers want to buy products they feel good about—whether a nutrition bar made with Truly Grass Fed whey protein for an on-the-go snack or Truly Grass Fed butter for the whole family. 

For more information on our Truly Grass Fed dairy ingredients, including our popular Truly Grass Fed whey protein ingredients, click here.


1. Benenson, B. (2019). Grazing in the grass is growing fast. Retrieved from

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