The protein trend is definitely proliferating. With everyone from avid athletes to Paleo Diet enthusiasts preaching the potent possibilities of protein, the number of people seeking ways to up their intake is poised to grow.
Evidence of the trend has been revealed in the UK, where a Canadean survey showed that 81 percent of consumers are aware of the importance of protein in their diets. Canadean, a market research firm, notes that consumers in the United Kingdom are starting to seek food and beverage products high in protein.
There's a difference, however, between awareness and acumen. Only 44 percent of survey respondents said they knew how much protein they should consume on a daily basis.
Consumers are seeking protein-rich products "to improve general well-being" (44 percent) and "to increase strength" (37 percent).
While many people globally have been trying to reduce their dependence on meat as a sole source of protein, studies nonetheless show that people know it is essential in health outcomes related to bone density, lower risks of osteoporosis, and muscle retention.
"While protein currently has a 'health halo' surrounding it, more needs to be done to encourage consumers to purchase products high in the ingredient," said Michael Hughes, lead analyst for Canadean. "Manufacturers need to target specific demographic groups -- and in particular senior citizens -- by educating consumers about the specific health benefits associated with protein and how it can improve their lifestyle."
Are there issues to resolve? Indeed. Makers of high-protein products may have to overcome issues related to taste perception and consumer skepticism, according to Canadean. Its research indicates that 52 percent of consumers are "skeptical of such indulgent products as ice cream with high-protein claims on the packaging."
Protein advocates must seek to change all that.
Jessica Dumanch's inaugural tome -- Omega Method #5 Gourmet Protein Shakes -- is a complete reinvention of the "protein shake" that puts taste at the top of the priority list.
"The easiest way to get a small meal action-packed with the nutrients your body needs to feed your 100 trillion cells is a gourmet protein shake," Dumanch says.
A certified Pilates and TRX Instructor and the owner of PR Pilates, Dumanch has created 50 recipes infused with NeoCell whey protein and collagen that are designed not only to maximize nutrients, but to tackle the taste gauntlet.
"Most of the complaints I receive from clients and friends is that most people don't like to consume protein shakes because they don't taste very well or that they are difficult to digest," Dumanch says. "If you are going to put something in your body, it should be a balance of taste and nutrients. If your favorite food tasted like cardboard, you probably wouldn't be enthused to eat it."