Food on the go has a challenge in today’s market. It needs to be good, really good. Not messy, not too big, nor too small – but one thing’s for sure – it needs to provide well rounded nutrition.
As more and more food is consumed on the go (UK figures show 30% of food is consumed out of the home and this figure is rising, while in the US the figure is as high as 50%), the importance of this statement is becoming increasingly significant.
What is ‘rounded nutrition’ and what is its relevance to beverages? In many cases the missing ingredient in drinks is protein. Dairy based beverages are the only sector that covers this requirement. School milk campaigns have seen a resurgence of late, and with high sugar beverages banned from schools, flavoured milks are taking a favourable position. But it can be hard to reach the adult population with dairy, possibly due to its poor perception as a high fat product.
A new innovation from food ingredient manufacturer Volac is challenging this market. Volactive HeatStable can be used in fruit based juices to provide beverages with a protein boost that is refreshing and nutritious. The whey protein within Volactive HS has been through a unique process which protects it from the heat associated with extending the shelf life of RTD products. This process ensures that the product remains in solution and has enabled the development of clear protein drinks.
Volactive HS is part of Volac’s range of protein rich ingredients developed for the sport and health markets. Whey protein, a natural product derived from cow’s milk is widely recognised as containing the highest levels of essential and branched chain amino acids of any protein. These are an important part of a balanced diet, necessary for the body to keep active and healthy.
It is well known that proteins are more satiating than fats or carbohydrates, keeping you fuller for longer, and naturally reducing the desire to eat is key to tackling the growing levels of obesity. People today are taking a more balanced approach to weight control through nutrition and product developers are looking for ways to innovate in this arena.
Volac believes it has the right product at the right time. Volactive Product Manager Mark Neville – who recently joined Volac from Pritchitts where he launched Millac Cappuccino Milk, a convenience revelation to many areas of foodservice – understands the importance of convenience when it comes to nutrition.
Mark commented: “This is a really exciting avenue for us. Whey proteins have had a strong following in the sports nutrition market for many years, but trying to unlock the mass market with powder based beverages is not progressive. Convenience is the key and Volactive HS can provide the protein for tasty ready to drink products that provide balanced nutrition and can promote satiety”.
A natural product, suitable for vegetarians, and hitting an untapped market in beverage innovation, Volac may have good reason to be excited.
One of the companies leading the way in protein fortified RTD’s is Reflex Nutrition which recently launched Whey Refresh. Containing as much protein as a portion of steak, without the fat, it is available in orange burst, rhubarb and tropical fruit flavours.
Reflex Nutrition Managing Director James Phillips is very pleased with progress to date: “Sports nutrition is our focus, and we wanted to provide our customers with greater convenience, where they can pick up and go, and leave the nutrition to us. The reaction in the market has been fantastic”
“Food on the go isn’t a new concept, but for beverages to take a larger slice of the market, balanced nutrition, and in particular protein fortification is key. With technology moving on it is now possible to achieve this, without sacrificing taste or appearance,” commented Mark Neville.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023
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