Shout about protein to bulk up sales

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Manufacturers are missing out on more than $50 million in revenue by not stating protein content on their packaging.

According to Nielsen data, sales of products that list protein content have leapt 22.3 per cent in Australia. This compares with two per cent in total grocery growth. The fastest growth is in dairy and chilled meals.

This trend was even higher elsewhere. In the US, there was a 157 per cent increase in just one year in sales of produce that listed protein content.

This increase in demand is an opportunity for manufacturers to promote their products’ protein content to boost sales.

New products in the meat-alternative, peanut-butter and ice-cream categories are addressing consumer demand for protein. This demand has prompted incremental category growth of between 16 and 54 per cent.

Other categories, such as nutritious snacks that have protein claims on packaging, saw six per cent growth in the past year. By contrast, high-protein products that didn’t list protein content grew just three per cent.

Nielsen’s Head of Retail Alfredo Costa said: “We’re confident that the demand for protein will continue into the future.

“As Australian shoppers continue to seek out products that satisfy their health and wellness needs, products with clear protein claims will remain sought after on Australians’ grocery lists.

“Manufacturers need to meet their consumers’ needs and desires with clearly labelled information on packs if they want to have a winning edge with product innovation and drive sales.”

Crucially, protein-savvy shoppers are not limited to “health-obsessed millennials”. In fact, according to Nielsen’s data, people who claim protein as a “must have” or “good to have” in their grocery are more likely to be families with children aged six to 18 years, or senior couples.

Targeting the right audience is key for brands to achieve protein growth. The reason is that different demographics consume protein for different reasons, and at different times.

For example, vegans will buy protein products to compensate for not eating animal products. Dairy is the top category for high-protein items chosen by senior couples, who may be concerned about calcium intake.