Consumers are looking for more protein

chocolate protein beverages

Today’s consumers are increasingly more health-conscious and more proactive in selecting products that support a healthy lifestyle. As a result, they’re seeking convenient ways to boost the nutrition in their diets, while still enjoying the familiar flavors and consistencies of foods and beverages they love. Formulators are responding to this demand by fortifying beverages with nutrients like calcium, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and most noticeably, protein.

The protein trend is now mainstream

fruit protein drinks

Protein’s wide appeal continues to grow. According to research by Global Insights, Inc., the global protein ingredient market is expected to reach $43.3 billion by 2024.

The interest in beverages with added protein is also reaching a much wider consumer audience. This includes those seeking to battle obesity, an aging population seeking to prevent muscle loss, and health enthusiasts who seek protein benefits for sports related nutrition.

To meet consumer demand, manufacturers are also embracing this protein trend. Utilizing traditional whey to alternative and plant-based protein sources like soy, nut, pea, oat and even cricket, formulators are answering the call for innovation. Growth of alternative protein sources is poised to accelerate, potentially claiming up to a third of the global protein market by 2054, according to Lux Research.

Formulators know they have to do more than just add protein to a beverage and call it functional – the beverage has to taste good and meet consumer’s sensory expectations.

CP Kelco is here to help

With an ever-expanding number of protein choices in today’s market, the innovation opportunities are exciting, but they can also be daunting for formulators.

Years of research and development have resulted in a comprehensive range of stabilizers and texturizers that can be customized to address the challenges associated with fortifying acidified and neutral pH beverages with protein. Working hand-in-hand with customers we apply our world-class application knowledge and an extensive portfolio of ingredients to consistently produce high-quality protein beverages across a wide pH range.

protein drink chart


Why our expertise matters

multi color fruit protein drinks

Manufacturers are faced with a range of challenges when formulating beverages, from keeping up with consumer preferences to understanding changes in available technologies. When addressing the need for suspension, mouthfeel and/or protein stabilization, product developers can rely on highly functional and versatile hydrocolloids from CP Kelco to play a key role.

Suspension is simple in concept, but challenging to achieve for product developers who are trying to maintain uniformity throughout a product’s shelf life. As beverage systems include growing numbers of ingredients – from the standards of cocoa and insoluble calcium to insoluble fibers and nutraceuticals – effective suspension becomes a key requirement to ensure consumers receive the full benefit of beverages they consume. Moreover, creating suspension in beverages without adding significant viscosity is not easy when compared to products such as salad dressing and cake batter. CP Kelco ingredients like KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum and GENU® Carrageenan offer developers the opportunity to achieve the necessary suspension attributes in protein-fortified beverages.

Mouthfeel, a term that has grown in use within the food and beverage industry in recent years, describes how flavors and nuances of a beverage are impacted by how the beverage “feels” in the mouth. Changing a beverage’s texture can have significant impact on the intensity of acid, the components of a flavor, or the individual’s satisfaction during consumption. Each CP Kelco ingredient in our hydrocolloid portfolio plays an important role in mouthfeel for beverage applications. KELCOGEL Gellan Gum, GENU Pectin, GENU Carrageenan, KELTROL® Xanthan Gum and CEKOL® Cellulose Gum each impact how flavors are experienced in beverages.

Protein stabilization or protection comes into play when proteins are pushed beyond their normal conditions. Some proteins are stable at neutral pH during heat treatment, but with changes in beverage pH as a result of new flavor profiles, these proteins can suffer greatly. Aggregation and sedimentation are the biggest challenges after heat treating proteins at low pH – leading to powdery, gritty or sandy beverages. Hydrocolloids can be used to protect the proteins during heat treatment through electrostatic attractions, resulting in a creamier, smoother, more stable, more uniform and more visually appealing beverage that consumers enjoy. Within the CP Kelco portfolio, GENU Pectin, CEKOL Cellulose Gum and GENU Carrageenan contribute to stabilizing proteins at low pH.

In neutral protein drinks (NPDs), hydrating protein particles that become suspended in beverages is a key challenge. With CP Kelco’s deep applications knowledge and extensive hydrocolloids portfolio, customers can produce high-quality, neutral pH protein beverages with a variety of drinking profiles that are stable across the shelf-life of the product. For instance, CP Kelco’s ingredients help create a richer mouthfeel in soy milk, prevent creaming in coconut milk and prevent serum separation in chocolate milk.

Hydrocolloids to the rescue

With over 85 years of experience working with food and beverage manufacturers of all sizes, CP Kelco is the industry expert in hydrocolloid technology. Our technical specialists partner with customers to gain a complete understanding of the customer’s texture, stability and labeling goals before determining a tailored solution that fits the customer’s specific needs. Leveraging our portfolio of hydrocolloid ingredients and applications expertise, we can collaborate with you to create protein-fortified beverages that meet evolving consumer demands and preferences. Which one is right for you?

hydrocolloid chart


What are you waiting for?

Let our innovation and technical expertise bring the benefits of hydrocolloids to your reformulation challenges and opportunities. Deliver added protein and meet consumer demand without sacrificing mouthfeel, texture or taste. CP Kelco can show you how.

To discuss your specific needs, please contact your CP Kelco representative or click here.