Middle-Aged Male Consumers Seek Protein for Energy Survey Finds

Middle-Aged Male Consumers Seek Protein for Energy, Survey Finds

In the pursuit of increased energy—both mental and physical—many middle-aged men (defined as men between the ages of 35-49) are looking to protein to fit the bill. Glanbia Nutritionals’ own consumer survey research uncovers insights into this functional nutrition opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers, including the most preferred protein types and product formats.

Strong Interest in Active Energy Nutrition Products

To better understand which nutrition benefits consumers of different ages are most interested in, Glanbia Nutritionals went directly to consumers to ask. Glanbia’s consumer survey research1 explored not only consumers’ interests in functional nutrition, but their perceptions about protein as well. The group surveyed consisted of 302 U.S. consumers ages 18 to 49.

Middle-Aged Male Consumers Seek Protein for Energy 1

Product concepts tested among these consumers included various active lifestyle beverages. These beverages contained protein along with other specific functional nutrients and were available in an assortment of flavors and product formats. The Active Energy Nutritional Beverage concept—which was of particular interest to middle-aged males—included the following features:

  • Formulated for the active person looking to boost energy and get the protein and nutrients needed to support a busy lifestyle
  • Designed to build inner strength after workouts with a patented protein complex
  • 10 grams of dairy-based protein that supports muscle health
  • Optimized combination of vitamin B complex, vitamin D3, and milk minerals
  • Low 120 calorie beverage to help meet nutrition goals

The Active Energy Nutritional beverage concept scored the highest among males 35 to 49, with 50 percent liking the idea extremely well and an additional 39 percent liking the concept somewhat well. Furthermore, 61 percent indicated this product fulfills a need well or extremely well, while 82 percent reported they would probably or definitely buy this product (a higher percentage than all other groups).

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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 51%
Ready-to-drink shelf-stable bottle 21%
Ready-to-mix powder in a container that makes 25 servings 22%
Ready-to-mix powder in individually wrapped, on-the-go servings 5%
Other 0%

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.

Middle-Aged Male Consumers Seek Protein for Energy 2

Learn about how choosing the right protein ingredient supplier for your functional beverages can help you appeal to consumers of every age!


1. Glanbia Nutritionals, Consumer Survey - November 2019, n=302

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