Natural Foods Merchandiser
How retailers can help satisfy protein-hungry shoppers

How retailers can help satisfy protein-hungry shoppers

Tips on how retailers can use education and innovation to help shoppers find the protein products and information they're looking for.

Everyone’s talking about protein—thanks in part to the Paleo movement, which has helped enforce the macronutrient's role in a healthy, well-rounded diet.

The market for high-protein products continues to grow stronger, but it’s doing so in tandem with consumer demand for more convenient, organic and natural foods. That’s given way to new snack products like cereals and chips fortified with protein, and packaged meats and dairy products that boast high protein content on their packages.

Sales and marketing firm Acosta highlighted these trends in new survey and report on the personalization of protein:

  • The growth of protein supplements is being driven dominantly by millennials; 86 percent of respondents 65 years or older use them rarely or never.
  • Shoppers say they’re purchasing dramatically less beef, opting instead for more white meat and fish.
  • Nuts were cited as the product consumers bought most often to replace meat protein (64 percent), followed by beans/lentils (63 percent) and dairy/eggs (56 percent).

Yet, according to the survey, nearly one-third of shoppers still feel uninformed about how much protein they should be getting, and why they should get that much.

Education and innovation are key for retailers in helping these shoppers find what they’re looking for, Acosta suggests. The firm offers these tips:

  • Put educational protein materials in unexpected places, like the produce and beverage aisles, where it can reach people who aren’t necessarily looking for it.
  • Offer more poultry-based varieties of traditional beef and pork products, like turkey burgers or chicken sausage.
  • Offer more organic and antibiotic-free protein sources.
  • At the meat counter, provide health information and calorie counts for cuts of meat, as well as food preparation tips, recipes and protein alternative suggestions.
  • If you have a deli counter, offer hummus as a sandwich spread in addition to mayonnaise and mustard. Also offer yogurt parfaits as a breakfast and snack option.
  • Hold cooking classes or seminars specific to meat and vegetarian alternatives.

How do you drive protein sales in your store? Let us know on Facebook! 

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