Protein Is King
Since protein is the most sought-after nutrient in functional nutrition products, the survey also explored consumers’ opinions on different types and amounts of protein, as well as different protein product formats. For 79 percent of male consumers between 35 and 49, the type of protein in their functional nutrition beverage matters—with 64 percent indicating a preference for dairy proteins (either whey or milk), followed by soy protein at 11 percent, and pea protein at 4 percent.
This group also prefers higher levels of protein. For example, 21 percent prefer 21 or more grams of protein in a functional protein beverage, while 26 percent prefer 16-20 grams and 26 percent prefer 11-15 grams. Ready-to-drink formats are the favorite by far at 72 percent with powders following at 27 percent.
Preferred Functional Beverage Format for U.S. Male Consumers Ages 35-49
|Ready-to-drink refrigerated bottle
|Ready-to-drink shelf-stable bottle
|Ready-to-mix powder in a container that makes 25 servings
|Ready-to-mix powder in individually wrapped, on-the-go servings
Functional Protein Formulas for Energy
These insights indicate an opportunity for manufacturers of protein energy formulas to target middle-aged male consumers. Whether this group is seeking an energy boost due to tiredness from work and family demands or as a result of the natural decline in growth hormone and testosterone, it’s clear that they see protein as a key part of the solution.