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A protein can be referred to as nitrogenous compound that consists of long chains of amino acids. Some of the sources of protein ingredients are wheat, milk, soya, eggs, and meat. Based on product type, the market is classified into plant and animal proteins. The animal protein segment is further categorized into casein& caseinates, whey protein, egg protein, milk protein, and gelatin. The plant segment is classified into wheat protein, soy protein, pea protein, and others. Proteins are widely used across supplements and nutritional powders, beverages, animal feed, protein bars, bakery and snacks, breakfast cereals, meat and meat products, infant nutrition, dairy products, and others.

The global protein ingredients market was estimated to account for approx. US$ 37.9 billion in terms of revenue in 2018 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period (2019 to 2027).


Growing protein fortification and standardization is primarily fueling the market growth of protein ingredient. Protein fortification is gaining high demand among the consumer due to shifting preference for protein in foods and growing demand for weight management food products that high in protein. As per the 2016 Food and Health Survey from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC), 64% of Americans wanted to include protein in their diet, which is a significant increase from 53% in 2014. Therefore, the rising demand for fortified and standardization across the food industry is projected to propel the market growth of protein ingredients over the forecast period.

Market Opportunities

Growing demand for insect sources proteins as insects contain high quality of proteins, vitamins, and amino acids are expected to propel the market growth of protein ingredients. According to the Coherent Market Insights, Exo Protein, which is a US.-based food startup, has introduced various types of protein and supplement bars, wherein cricket flour is used as the base ingredient. Moreover, in 2016, the company raised over US$ 4.0 million through series a funding, signaling great investor and consumer interest in such products. Therefore, the rising demand launch of insect’s source protein-based products is expected to fuel market growth.

Market Restraints

Fluctuating production costs and challenges associated with the flavors is a prime factor hindering the market growth. Taste of food is a major factor that can influence the purchase decision of consumers and protein ingredients are used in food for enhancing the functional properties of the food product, with limited focus on the flavor of the ingredient. According to a study conducted by DuPont Nutrition and Health in 2015, consumers ranked taste as the most important criteria while selecting a high-protein beverage product, which highlights the necessity of sensory appeal along with nutritional status. The aforementioned factor is expected to restrict the market growth of protein ingredients.

Key Takeaways

Among application, supplements and nutritional powders segment dominated the global protein ingredients market in 2018 with a 23.8% of market share in terms of revenue, followed by bakery & confectionery and protein & nutritional bars, respectively.

Market Trends

The growing popularity of retort beverages is projected to accelerate the market growth protein ingredients over the forecast timeframe, retort beverages are packed in a flexible plastic or metal foil with sealed ends in order to make it completely sterile and enhance the shelf life of the drink. Some of the examples of retort beverage are coffee, smoothies, and tea beverages that have high content of proteins are expected to augment the market growth of protein ingredients over the forecast timeframe.

Increasing focus of manufacturers to introduce highly functional protein for high-protein based products is expected to accelerate the market ingredient over the forecast period. For instance, in December 2019, Ingredion has expanded its range of plant-based ingredient with the introduction of it’s first-ever protein isolate. VITESSENCE Pulse 1803 pea protein enables food and beverage manufacturers across EMEA to meet increasing consumer demand for protein-rich products, in a broad range of on-trend categories.

Competitive Section

Key players active in the global protein ingredient market are Solae LLC, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill Inc., Glanbia Plc., FrieslandCampina DMV B.V., Kerry Group Plc., Arla Food Ingredients, ROQUETTE FRERES S.A, Davisco Foods International, Inc., and Sterling Biotech Ltd.

Few Recent Developments

Glanbia Plc.

  • In January 2017, the company in collaboration with Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA), Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA), and Foremost Farms USA (Foremost Farms) announced plans to set up a new cheese and whey facility in the U.S. Through this collaboration DFA, MMPA, and Foremost Farms are expected to supply required milk for the plant, while Glanbia is responsible for commercial, technical, and operational aspects of this business.
  • In January 2017, Glanbia Plc. completed acquisition of Amazing Grass, which is a producer of wheatgrass, plant-based proteins, etc. Through this acquisition, the company is expected to enhance its product offerings.

Arla Food Ingredients

  • In June 2016, Arla Foods Ingredients Group established a new factory in Denmark, which is expected to produce approximately 4,000 tons of high-quality whey and casein hydrolysates in a year
  • In August 2016, the company launched a series of milk-based products, which are rich in proteins in order to expand its nutritional portfolio
  • In January 2017, the company announced to increase its investments by 47% to US$ 357 million at its milk processing plant located in Denmark. The objective of this investment is to process the increasing milk supply from various local dairy farmers.


  • In January 2017, Roquette announced an investment of US$ 200 million in order to build a new pea-protein manufacturing site at Manitoba Canada to cater to increasing demand for plant proteins. Through this investment, the company is expected to expand its presence in the market in Canada.
  • In November 2016, the company participated in Health Ingredients Europe in order to showcase a selection of new food concepts such as a protein pancake, gluten-free bars etc.

Market Taxonomy

By Product Type

  • Animal Protein
    • Whey Protein
    • Casein and Caseinates
    • Milk Protein
    • Egg Protein
    • Gelatin
  • Plant Protein
    • Soy Protein
    • Wheat Protein
    • Pea Protein
    • Others

By Application

  • Nutritional Supplement Powders
  • Beverages
  • Protein & Nutritional Bars
  • Bakery & Snacks
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Meat & Meat Products
  • Dairy Products
  • Infant Nutrition
  • Animal Feed
  • Others

By Form

  • Isolate
  • Concentrate
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle east & Africa
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