Plant Protein Market Trends For 2021
The plant-based protein supplement market is expected to reach $14.5 billion by 2025 from $10.3 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 7.1%. This blog intends to explain the rapid growth of the market and the plant-based protein trends, opportunities, and challenges along with the trending plant protein ingredients. [i]
What Is the Healthiest Source of Protein?
There are several sources in the market than ever before for building a complete plant-based protein formulation! With a range of plant protein benefits, including promoting a healthy gut, helping promote cardiovascular health, and environment-friendliness, here are a few interesting trends:[ii][iii]
Pea protein is currently one of the most trending plant proteins. Derived from green and yellow split peas, it has become a popular choice for supplement manufacturers. As pea protein doesn’t carry an allergen label, it can be offered in clean label products, surging its use and popularity.
The only downside is its slightly off-flavor, which can’t be masked with natural flavors and sweeteners if the formulators want to obtain an organic, clean, non-GMO, and allergen-free profile for their product. There are many different pea proteins available, some that taste better than others.
Soy protein is one of the most widely used and popular plant-based proteins. It is also considered a complete protein and categorized as an allergen – just for those allergic to soy.
When extruded, chickpeas have higher digestibility of proline and lysine that makes them popular. Additionally, they are not labeled as an allergen, making them an ideal choice as a plant-based protein source.
Rice Bran Protein
Rice bran protein has gained significant popularity in the last few years. However, the real potential of bran is still untapped. With high nutritional values, high digestibility, and hypoallergenic properties, this protein can be an affordable alternative.
Mung Bean Protein
According to the Future Bridge report, with many of the amino acids as eggs, mung bean protein is emerging with promising potential. It offers not only attractive emulsification and gelation properties but also reduces significant water requirements.
Plant Protein Market Insights
By 2025, the global plant protein market size is expected to reach $14.5 billion. Increasing pea protein usage in the food industry and the technology innovation in extracting plant-based protein are the primary growth drivers.
Growing consumer shift towards adapting more nutritional diet, sustainable lifestyle, and lower dependency on animal proteins are driving the plant-based protein market. Various factors have fueled the adoption and demand in recent years, including:
- product availability
- plant-based protein innovation
- enhanced product development
- a broader scope of available substitutes and alternatives [iv]
What Are the Key Barriers to the Plant Protein Market?
Allergies associated with plant-based protein sources work as major barriers to entering the plant protein market. Sources like soy have been identified as allergens and, as a result, are accepted by consumers cautiously.
Nutritional Plant Protein Industry Trends
- Isolate Segment is Expected to Show the Highest Growth Rate
With a higher concentration of protein, isolates are the most refined form of protein products. Easily digestible with the ability to be incorporated into various products, protein isolates are derived from a range of legumes like pea, soy, rice, canola, and more. They have a specific flavor, color, and functional properties.[v]
- The Dry Segment is Expected to Dominate the Market
The dry form is used to produce protein concentrates. This process utilizes dry milling technology for reducing the size of raw material into fine particles. [vi]
- Taste and Texture Dominates the Market
Consumers demand appealing taste, texture, and nutrition in the current competitive marketplace. Brand owners need to take care of these aspects to ensure the success of their plant-based protein. [vii]
- Demand for Clean Labels will Keep Rising
With growing consumer awareness, the demand for clean label will keep surging. [viii]
Nutritional Plant Protein Industry Opportunities
- The Rise in Sustainable Innovation will Lead to Growth
Growing demand for dairy and meat alternatives, dietary snacks, and sports nutrition, coupled with easy availability of superior quality raw materials, will increase the production of plant-based protein supplements. [ix]
Further, enhancements in plant protein sources like hemp, pumpkin seeds, and spirulina and the increasing sustainable innovation will fuel the market in the next few years.
- Rising Sales of RTD (Ready to Drink) Products
Due to convenience, the demand for RTD products will continue growing. [x]
- Rise in Demand for Products with Organic Ingredients
With record growth in organically managed farmland in recent years, the organic product market will fuel organic plant-based protein ingredient market growth. [xi]
Nutritional Plant Protein Industry Challenges
- Concerns Over Source Quality Due to Genetically Modified (GMO) Crops
Genetically modified crops used to meet the growing demand are often considered unfavorable by consumers. Production of non-GMO crops can result in higher production costs, leading to lower margins during sales.[xii]
- Continuous Improvement in the Nutritional Profile is Key
To gain a competitive advantage, companies need to enhance their plant-based protein products' nutritional profile continuously. They can use technology to resolve challenges for improving the protein content and quality from the plant-based sources.[xiii]
Global Plant Protein Market Analysis by Regions
The U.S. plant protein market is expected to continue its growth and reach $17,326.9 million by 2027 from $4,706.2 million in 2019 at a CAGR of 17.3%. The North American region is expected to exhibit strong growth prospects due to its large production and consumer base. Asia Pacific region is expected to witness the fastest growth prospects because of a large population and shifting consumer focus towards plant-based alternatives.[xiv]
With 80 years of combined contract manufacturing experience, NutraScience Labs can help you keep up with the changing plant protein market trends and opportunities. Our world-class services can help you with end-to-end supplement manufacturing, including effective supplement formula and flavoring, eye-catching and FDA-compliant labeling, and hassle-free fulfillment. Whether you are a new brand-owner or an experienced entrepreneur, we can help you manufacture good-quality plant-based protein supplements.