NAAS, IRELAND —Most protein consumers are motivated by health and wellness, with 50% of respondents associating protein with “healthy diet” and 46% with “healthy lifestyle.”

That’s among the findings of The Protein Mindset: Uncovering Consumers’ Perceptions and Preferences of Proteins, a new report from taste and nutrition specialist Kerry.

The report also found that consumers are willing to pay a premium for protein fortification — 75% of global consumers have indicated they would pay a higher price for protein fortified food and beverages. In fact, more than half of global consumers would pay a 10% premium, and an additional 15% would be willing to pay a 25% premium.

The research also confirms that taste is the top purchase consideration for more than 60% of global consumers; the quality of protein ranks next. 

The report highlights the crucial rise in market acceptance of added protein in consumption of everyday foods and beverages, but also in indulgent snacks and treats. On-pack claims of “better for you,” “healthy halo” and “clean label” were identified as crucial to creating protein-based foods and beverages that will resonate with consumers. 

Also discussed are the top current opportunities for innovation in product development, and the ways in which Kerry can support food and beverage manufacturers as they apply this research directly to their product development efforts.

“Accelerated by COVID-19 and consumer focus on health and rising interest in proactive—versus reactive—nutrition, rapid change has occurred recently in food and beverage markets around the world as broader awareness of the many benefits of protein increasingly drives purchase decisions among mainstream consumers,” said Soumya Nair, Kerry’s global director for consumer research and insights.