People are crazy for protein these days. Never mind that we’re already getting more than we need, or that consuming too much can be bad for your health. We want — we need! — fuel for our on-the-go lifestyles, and protein promises this in a wholesome, all-natural sort of way.
Manufacturers have met this demand with a raft of new and reformulated products proclaiming their protein power, everything from cereals to drinks and various snacks. There’s also increasing demand for the type of protein powders, shakes and bars that have been on the market for some time now.
Most of these products rely on soy protein isolate, milk, or egg whites for their protein. But with food allergies and demand for inexpensive, sustainable ingredients on the rise, the market is ripe for alternatives.
Enter pea protein. That’s right: protein from peas. It’s not a new innovation, but with the stars aligning on its healthy, all-natural profile companies have made major investments and are now incorporating it into bars, beverages, mixes, and more. According to an industry insider interviewed by Foodnavigator-usa.com, the pea protein market “is ready to explode.”
Most consumers probably haven’t heard of pea protein, but that shouldn’t be a problem given their familiarity with the ubiquitous legume. It’s green, it’s healthy — enough said. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how companies communicate that health message, given that shoppers aren’t typically concerned with the source of their protein.
It’ll also be interesting to see if there’s a protein backlash eventually. This is always a risk when a questionable health trend goes full speed ahead. But for now, green means go.