With many consumers turning away from crash diets and towards more holistic approaches to weight management, demand for meal replacements has grown. The global market for such products – most commonly protein bars, powder shakes and RTD beverages – has grown at a CAGR of 7% over the last 10 years, with one in four people now consuming them at least once a week, according to the HealthFocus International 2020 Global Trend Study.
A trend in the category is demand for healthy, natural ingredients. The most successful weight management products are low in sugar and high in protein, as well as offering convenience and great taste. According to Innova Market Insights, whey protein and casein account for more than 80% of protein ingredients in RTDs, powder shakes and bars marketed as meal replacements.
Arla Foods Ingredients has launched a new concept to demonstrate how whey protein and casein can help manufacturers create on-trend meal replacement products. It features three new solutions that showcase the company’s Lacprodan range of whey protein and micellar casein ingredients. High in protein, the three recipes also provide carbohydrates, fiber and fat, and are rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
The concepts are: a ready-to-drink beverage, with 100% native micellar casein isolate – a slow-digesting protein for long-lasting satiety. It combines heat stability and low viscosity with a neutral taste that is easy to flavor; a high-protein bar with a blend of casein and whey protein for optimal texture and satiety, that maintains its soft texture throughout its shelf life; and a protein shake, which is a blend of slow-digesting micellar casein and fast-absorbing whey with a neutral taste that is easy to flavor.
Laima Liepinyte, sales development manager, health and performance nutrition, at Arla Foods Ingredients, said the meal-replacement products have essential nutrients such as lipids, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as protein.
“They are also quick to prepare and easy to consume, making them ideal for the lifestyle needs of busy, active consumers. We hope they will inspire manufacturers to continue to innovate in a category that is increasingly important in the weight management space,” Liepinyte said.