- Posted September 4, 2013 by
Protein Enhanced Food
Can you hear that strange whirring sound – like a food processor getting to work on a pile of woodchips? That's Stanley Green (aka the Protein Man) spinning in his grave. For the uninitiated, Green spent a quarter of a century pacing up and down Oxford Street in London, extolling the evils of one particular foodstuff: protein which is found on foods such as christophe petra
Take Dr Zak's. Last month the company launched a high-protein bread into Ocado and independent health stores, and a pasta is on its way during September. Our target market is people that are into sports and fitness. Our approach is making everyday foods, such as pasta and bread, that you might avoid if you were a training athlete.
Sadly for him, the "less lust – less protein" message he communicated to shoppers through his homemade sign and pamphlets never really caught on. And now, according to market analysts Mintel, foods made with extra "lust-provoking" protein may just be the next big health trend in the UK.
The general awareness of protein among consumers has increased considerably. People are looking to increase their intake for a number of reasons, from weight loss to trying to maintain a healthy weight. They're also recognising the role of protein in general nutrition, and its ability to fill you up for longer. The demand for protein-enriched food first started among bodybuilders in the US, who were looking for a more convenient way to fill up on protein after a workout than scarfing down chicken or fish. However, Jones believes the trend is now trickling down to consumers more interested in their weight than their muscles.
Where trends lead, food companies tend to follow, and many are already putting a "high protein" label on their products. So you can grab your Marks & Spencer high-protein Fuller for Longer sandwich before nipping over to a health store and picking up a protein shake or even the punningly titled Wheyhey – an ice-cream that contains as much protein as a chicken breast. M&S sarnie aside, much of the above has the same relationship to real food as the stuff astronauts eat during space flights. But there is a move toward adding protein (in the form of protein powder) to everyday food that actually tastes half-decent.
It's not an easy process. Dr Zak's went through two years of research and development and a couple of bakers before hitting upon a formula that tasted, and felt, like proper bread. Now it's on the shelves, Brilus hopes that it might have broader appeal. Stranger things have happened. After all, gluten-free food was once a niche product, and now it's worth £238m, according to retail analyst Kantar.
And what about the rest of us? Should we put "upping our protein" on the personal to-do list that begins with "eating more vegetables" and ends with "drinking less"? Dietician Gaynor Bussell points out that, at the moment, there is absolutely no evidence that people are in any way lacking in protein. "Dietary surveys always reveal we get more than enough," she says. She believes there is some evidence that upping protein (usually in low-fat products) can be helpful for weight loss, but suggests simply eating a good, lean, low-saturated-fat source of the stuff, rather than reaching for a protein shake.
This sounds like common sense, though it may not do much to stem the tide of protein-enhanced foods due to hit shelves near you. We've already got Powerful Yogurt – macho dairy brand with 20g of added protein – to look forward to this year. Where's Stanley Green when you need him?
Source: The Guardian - September 2013