Arla argues dairy protein remains king of taste with new water innovation

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | Ridofranz
Getty | Ridofranz

Related tags Protein Sports nutrition Whey protein functional beverage beverage

Dairy protein will continue to enjoy growth despite the growing plant-based trend thanks to its unrivalled flavour and functionality, Arla Foods Ingredients applications director has said as the company launches its newest whey protein innovation.

Arla Foods Ingredients has revealed new Lacprodan ISO.Water, a 100% whey protein isolate for clear water applications that is sugar, fat, and lactose-free and promises to overcome the bitter taste and dry mouthfeel issues that can come with protein drinks. 

Peter Schouw Andersen, director of application science and technology for Arla Foods Ingredients says this product taps into the trend for more everyday products with 'hidden' health benefits. 

“One of the biggest trends in sports nutrition at the moment is the merging of the sports nutrition and mass market audiences making it much more difficult to differentiate the audience for sports nutrition products," ​he tells NutraIngredients.

“What we do know for sure is we are going to continue to see a growing interest in protein hidden in ‘normal’ food and drink as everyday customers look for products with added protein as this provides a health halo for the product.

“Protein is going to continue to benefit from this halo effect it has been enjoying. It is the only macro nutrient to have a totally positive perception, while fats and carbs are seen as having some down sides, as contributors to weight gain.”


Schouw Andersen says although interest in plant-based products is big, he doesn’t see it as a real threat to dairy-based protein.

In general, the plant-based protein trend is a small amount of the total growth in high protein products.

“To be honest, there’s room for both options in the market – I’m not that conservative about the protein market that I think there’s only room for plant or dairy based products.

“Dairy products have a reputation for tasting good and that’s the challenge plant proteins have at the moment so consumers that want high protein and good tasting products will always want dairy.“

He adds that one big trend coming through now is for hybrid protein products which take the best of both dairy and plant based proteins and put them in one product.

"I can see these being the big trend in the future," ​he said.

Taste and purity

The new protein water innovation comes off the back of research which shows the most sought after sports nutrition drink features are 'ready-to-drink', 'low in sugar' and 'clean ingredients' (Euromonitor International's Health and Nutrition Survey 2019) and taste and health are two key aspects that consumers pay attention to when buying a protein drink (Innova Market Insights 2019).

Troels Laursen, director, health & performance nutrition at Arla Foods Ingredients, says this new ingredient will set a new standard for protein waters.

“Protein waters are a fantastic way to offer consumers healthy protein in a convenient, refreshing and low-calorie format. However the one box they haven’t previously ticked is great taste. Lacprodan ISO.Water overcomes that challenge, paving the way for products with a far wider range of flavours. It will set a new standard for clear protein waters that taste great as well as meeting nutritional needs.”


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