The protein business is worth $96 billion worldwide; its growth over the years comes from its transition from a product reserved for extreme sports athletes, bodybuilders and muscle chasers to an essential commodity for everyone looking to live healthier. Initially, protein was a niche product available for elite athletes and hardcore fitness fanatics. In fact, in most cities, protein products were only available in fitness shops frequented by people who spent a lot of time at the gym.
Today, you will find dedicated protein sections in almost every shop that sells food products. The demand for protein product is a result of two trends in the past couple of years; exponential growth in the fitness industry and aggressive marketing from producers of protein. Currently, fitness goes beyond working out and spending time at the gym; there are more people paying attention to their dietary intake, and using supplements to ensure they meet their required daily protein intake.
The protein drink which is famously known as protein shake is quite popular in households as it is easy to make and consume; you can add it to your post-workout smoothie, bedtime smoothie or even soup. This way, you get to meet your daily protein requirements without the extra calories associated with traditional protein sources.
Not to mention, creators of protein drinks have also taken an aggressive and innovative approach to marketing the whole business, making it a leading trend across the globe. They focus on leading in ingredient innovation; offering products with added functionality; creating multiple flavors; innovating around plant-based proteins; offering low-sugar & low-fat products; targeting products suitable for the organic & natural movement; superior product positioning; customer-centered brand design; offering products for diverse demographics and continuous reformulation of protein drink.
The clever marketing across the board also breaks the rules by overlooking traditional marketing methods in favor of influencer driven marketing. Protein shake companies invest heavily in influencer marketing; they collaborate with Instagram users with huge audiences, fitness bloggers and vloggers with an interest in health and nutrition, among others. This means that every consumer can find someone who uses the protein shake he or she loves and trusts as an authoritative source of health and fitness information.
The marketing of protein shakes further re-frames it as an everyday nutritional product as opposed to it being a niche product for fitness enthusiasts. This means that people who work out from home, live a busy life that limits their ability to get a balanced diet and weight watchers looking to reduce their food intake while still getting their nutrients also love the shake.
Over the years, the various marketing tactics have made the protein shake a beloved product across generations. Some protein shake manufacturers today provide shakes for older consumers, teenagers, and even children.
Successful innovation and marketing in the protein shake market also create controversy. The product is quite popular in the west, where most people already get enough protein on a daily basis. Your weight and age determine your daily protein needs; most people require approximately 0.8 grams of protein per kg of weight per day. This translates to about 55g for an average man and 45 grams for an average woman. In most western countries, most people exceed this intake by 32 grams and 20 grams for men and women respectively. Introducing the protein shakes means adding up to 35 grams of protein to the body daily.
Protein plays an important role in the body; it helps in the growth of muscle mass and overall bone health. However, excess protein intake puts pressure on the kidneys, which can lead to health problems later on.
Consumers need to analyze their dietary needs and overall health before introducing protein shakes to their diets. Protein shakes play a vital role as a supplement, however, it is only required by people who lead an active lifestyle, consume too little protein or require extra protein to build muscle and strengthen their bones.