THE PROTEIN CHALLENGE: Securing and Diversifying Protein Sources


Changes in consumer habits are offering tremendous opportunity for innovators in food science to meet dietary demands with alternative protein sources, writes SPRIM FOOD.

As our world gets bigger, so too does the demand for protein. Experts predict that the global population will have reached 10 billion people by 2050. Satisfying this dietary demand will require considerable changes to current systems of food production. It also presents a real opportunity for the food industry – particularly those experimenting with different ways to provide the population with protein.


Securing Protein Sources

Meat consumption is essential to a full and nutritious diet the world over. Debate now centres on how best to continue securing and developing protein supplies and on how to optimise meat production.

To support population growth and fulfil the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), much attention is being paid to alternative ways of producing protein products.

This alternative protein space is booming across the world, with a wide variety of plant-, algae-, fungi- and even insect-based foods and feeds emerging around the world.

These products have traditionally taken the form of meat substitutes, such as lentils or soy-based tofu. Some companies are also experimenting with meat replacements, creating plant-based products adapted to the needs of society.

In 2020, the innovations are set to keep coming. Mycoprotein, a fungi-derived protein, has received attention for being high in fibre and low in saturated fat. High-protein insects are also in vogue as the ultimate “circular economy” food: they can be cheaply reared on feed that would not have been suitable for livestock.


Changing Consumer Habits

While the number of protein alternatives continues to expand, their widespread adoption depends on a change in consumer habits.

Early signs suggest this is beginning to happen. Increasing numbers of people are switching to plant-based and fungi-based foods for personal reasons and beliefs. Others are making the switch to diversify their food experiences, discover new flavours, and test or explore in search of new health benefits.

The food industry can look to capitalise on this moment of change and desire for differentiation in protein sources. 2020 brings new opportunities for meat and alternative protein producers, who will be able to innovate with new and novel products – and re-position themselves in a rapidly growing market.

At SPRIM FOOD, we’ve been working with corporations, brands, trade associations and scientific organisations for the last 19 years to identify, position and market new sources of protein within the nutritional community.

For more information, or for advice on how to take advantage of changing trends in the food industry, get in touch with SPRIM FOOD’s team of food science experts, here:


Other news

SPRIM organises Leading International Conference on Practical Nutrition

On 12 and 13 February, more than 600 nutritionists and healthcare professionals will come together for the XXIV International Conference on Practical Nutrition, organised in collaboration with the Spanish Society of Dietetics & Food Science (SEDCA).

Read More

A NEW GOLDEN AGE FOR NUTRITION: Opportunities for the food sector to add value, communicate and innovate.

Today we are living in a New Era of Nutrition, with interest in healthy products growing exponentially year on year. No longer just a basic necessity, food has become a veritable social phenomenon

Read More

BALANCING TRENDS IN FOOD PRODUCTS. Development with nutritional value

Food products development is innovating to cater to the needs of consumers, and though many of these trends have a clear focus on sustainability and health, some lack a focus on guaranteeing nutritional value...

Read More