Data published by Euromonitor International shows that protein consumption in Western Europe is the highest globally at 49 grams per capita daily, taking into account only retail sales of packaged food and non-alcoholic drinks. Were the data to be adjusted to factor in fresh food, foodservice and sports nutrition, then it really would be evident that in the Western half of Europe, protein consumption is well and truly above the average recommended daily intake, which stands at an indicative 50 grams as specified by the National Health Service of the UK. This is testified by the impressive growth rates of protein rich categories over the 2010-2015 review period, as can be observed in the graphic below.
Source: Euromonitor International Packaged Food 2016 and Fresh Food 2016 data
In his presentation “Protein Consumption in Western Europe: Breaking Out of Sports Nutrition?” delivered at Vitafoods Europe in May 2016, Alexander Kottke delved into the reasons behind the currently popularity of protein, thereby illustrating that the perception of a multi-layered health benefit profile in the eye of the general public is the fundamental growth driver. Beyond this, manufacturer strategies for capitalising on and cultivating the trend further were also explored. These included emphasising the natural protein content of a product, expanding the product portfolio range, employing category disruption and targeting specific demographic groups, such as millennials. The presentation concluded with the message that the protein trend is set to flourish further over the 2015-2020 forecast period, which was reinforced in a timely manner by the announcement of Mars Food UK Ltd’s protein-enhanced Mars and Snickers countlines for the UK market in the same week as the presentation delivery.