Virginia Dare showcased Pro-Mask™, a new series of protein masking flavors at the 2014 IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans. This new line of masking flavors delivers and expands Virginia Dare’s expertise in “Making Good for You Taste Great.” The versatility of Pro-Mask was demonstrated in a variety of great-tasting applications including ready-to-drink beverages fortified with whey and soy protein, whey protein–fortified cookies and milk protein–fortified ice cream. The masking ability of Pro-Mask extends to pea, rice and other new and innovative protein sources.
Consumers have been continuing to change their eating habits over time. They have shifted away from cutting back on fat in foods and reducing carbohydrates. Consumer interest in protein is on the rise and the food and beverage industry has responded with a proliferation of new products.
Virginia Dare and Annette Maggi, MS, RD, LD, explored consumer interest and attitudes about proteins and protein fortified foods and beverages by conducting a national survey. The survey queried 694 adults aged 18 to 80, with representative U.S. geographic and age and gender demographics.
Some of the more important findings were:
- 63 percent of consumers are looking for protein when choosing foods and beverages.
- 72 percent of consumers indicate the protein content of foods and beverages is somewhat or very important
- Consumers understand that not all protein sources are created equal
- Consumers seek protein at all meal occasions and snacks
- Balanced eating habits, muscle building, satiety and weight loss are reasons consumers choose protein
At the Virginia Dare press conference at the 2014 IFT, LuAnn Williams, director of research at Innova Market Insights, summarized trends in the protein beverage market. She indicated the protein-fortified trend has continued to grow over the past year with a significant increase in the number of new beverages with protein associated claims.
The proliferation of new protein beverages includes breakfast shakes, smoothies, milk, yogurt, cultured dairy and dairy alternate drinks. Many of these beverages carry claims promoting the benefits of protein for satiety, energy, alertness and bone strengthening. There has never been a time of greater importance in providing great taste and consumer acceptance in developing products to support health and wellness.