Eating enough protein is essential to maintain a healthy body. It provides us with energy, helps the body fight illness and disease, and keeps the immune system functioning properly. It also assists in maintaining healthy muscles and helps to build skin, hair, nails and cartilage.
However, there’s a wealth of difference between new-generation whey proteins and the traditional products that have long been used by fitness professionals such as bodybuilders, athletes and other sports professionals.
New-generation whey proteins are embracing the opportunity to reach out and appeal to a much wider consumer audience who are increasingly inspired to get fit, healthy and live life to the full for as long as possible.
The key to the new whey is to ensure great taste using 100% natural ingredients with no artificial sweeteners or flavours, or colours, or fillers (such as starches or gums), which some nutritional whey protein products often contain.
High quality whey proteins are more easily digested and absorbed and can be particularly effective if taken first thing, in combination with fibre, as a breakfast option for people whose goal is to lose weight, or straight after intensive exercise to aid muscle recovery quickly and naturally.
Traditionally, the majority of the market has been male, but there is a growing number of women who are motivated to get slimmer, fitter and healthier and are usually more concerned about quality and recognisable ingredients than their male counterparts.
Many traditional whey protein products have huge ingredients lists, which can be off-putting for mainstream consumers. New whey products are functional, everyday products packed with useful and usable nutrition. The use of quality, natural ingredients that are full of highly ‘available’ micronutrients, present in the natural ratios our bodies have evolved to absorb, will without doubt attract new whey users.
Practitioners understand the benefits of biologically active proteins fractions that are preserved in new whey products. The combinations and ratios of nutrients in addition to the protein create functional products which can be used for many common health issues, including digestive problems, energy, bone health and even insomnia as well as weight-loss.
New whey protein-containing products are clearly accessible to a much wider audience, making consumers feel good about themselves and reinforcing positive, health-oriented choices. Recreational and lifestyle users of whey protein products want responsible, quality and are motivated by their body image and lifestyle goals. Fresh, natural products are clearly where the market opportunity is heading.
Edward Taylor is managing director at Purition.
FoodBev Media Ltd 2015