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Cargill's 'Protein Profile' highlights emerging consumer trends

The report emphasizes the need for convenience, smaller portions, globally inspired flavors and personalized value in North American diets.

Barbecue Meat Grilling Pixabay
Rudy and Peter Skitterians | Pixabay

Cargill’s North American Protein business has released its annual "Protein Profile" report, providing valuable insights into evolving consumer trends and preferences in protein consumption. Compiled by Cargill's Marketing and Insights team, the report draws on proprietary research and market intelligence, offering a detailed overview of current and future trends for industry stakeholders and consumers.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Demand for smaller portions: Reflecting the decrease in average family size and the rise of one-to-two person households, there is an increasing preference for smaller protein packages. This shift aims to reduce food waste and help consumers manage their grocery budgets more effectively.
  • Convenience is king: Consumers are seeking protein options that simplify their routines and meal planning. Technological advancements, including AI and automation, are playing a significant role in streamlining processes from order processing to providing custom recipe inspiration.
  • Global flavors on the rise: The report notes a growing interest in diverse and globally influenced flavors, particularly among Gen Z consumers. This trend is leading to the fusion of various cuisines and the introduction of bold new protein-centric meals and snacks by culinary chefs and foodservice operators.
  • Redefining value: The concept of value in protein consumption is diversifying. While some consumers opt for premium items to prepare at home, others focus on simplicity and cost-effectiveness. This indicates a shift from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more personalized definition of value in protein choices.

Hans Kabat, President of Cargill’s North American Protein Business, highlights the significance of protein as a fundamental nutrient and the potential of these findings to inform businesses and drive innovation in product development and menu creation.

The "Protein Profile" report not only sheds light on the current state of protein consumption but also offers a glimpse into its future trajectory. It is expected to be a valuable resource for customers, partners, and other stakeholders in the food industry, helping them to align with consumer demands and technological advancements in the protein sector.

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