Nutritional Supplements

Whole New World for Nutritional Supplements

Bigger, better, booming. Nutritional supplement and meal replacement markets thrive with rising consumer demand.

Consumers have spoken when it comes to what they want in food: high protein, clean ingredients and labeling, strong and diverse flavors, and convenience. And manufacturers have listened. That’s why there are more nutritional supplement and meal replacement options than ever before. 

According to a recent article in Dairy Foods, there’s a “whole new world” for dairy-based supplements and meal replacements. And, as the article stated, not all proteins are created equal. 

To make its point, the article referenced a recent U.S. Dairy Export Council report: “All proteins are not created equal. Whether formulating protein into products intended for vulnerable undernourished populations, sports nutrition, weight management or healthy aging, it is important to choose a high-quality, complete protein. Dairy proteins consistently deliver this important level of nutrition.”

The article dived into trends and growth drivers for products in these two categories, including a growing range of categories and products designed to hit as many marketplace niches as possible. Glanbia Nutritionals’ Vicky Fligel, senior product manager, functional systems, discussed the move into various beverage offerings.

“One of the more interesting trends we are seeing is the emergence of coffee protein beverages — homing in on the coffee trend, but with protein, plus vitamins and mineral blends,” Fligel said. “We are also seeing protein moving into … beverages such as protein waters and in smaller quantities such as protein pouches and protein shots.”

On the retailing and sales front, Meghan Wahlin, senior category strategy manager for Glanbia Nutritionals, said that successful packaging will tie into consumers’ desire for convenience — including easy-to-open containers and products that can be eaten directly from the package. Single-serving sachets, gummies and stick packs all are also easy to transport.

Glanbia Nutritionals’ Max Maxwell, manager of market intelligence, also weighed in on the dairy industry’s need to better communicate the benefits of dairy-based proteins over their plant-based counterparts, saying that manufacturers need to embrace “the science behind dairy and dairy ingredients” and suggesting that they work toward “celebrating dairy with engaging cow images and using terms like dairy fresh and farm fresh” when marketing products.

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