The sport and health nutrition industry has grown exponentially in recent years, there are now more nutrition supplements on the market than ever before, with this trend set to continue. You can find protein supplements in some shape or form almost anywhere these days, be it ‘protein balls’ in petrol stations, ‘ready to drink protein shakes’ in local corner shops, or full on tubs/ bags of whey protein powder in your local supermarket. You don’t have to look very far to find some protein, and this is reflected in the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) who found that protein can now be classified as a staple in the ‘UKs basket of goods’.
Why so popular?
The reason the humble protein shake is now a staple in the UK diet is (in part) down to its versatility. Protein can be used by almost every demographic from the professional athlete, the recreational gym goer, the elderly, those that are chronically and acutely unwell, and the generally health conscious member of public. Protein is a key macronutrient in our diets, it has been a staple for millennia, since the time of the paleolithic man. Modern science has enabled us to manipulate protein so that it comes in a variety of mediums, and not just regular food such as meat, beans and pulses. Protein can be taken as a syrup, as a juice based liquid beverage, as bitesize snacks, and of course…as a milk based protein shake. The ability of protein to maintain its nutritional properties despite various manipulations makes it so popular and common place in the average British diet. Add to this the health and fitness boom we are in, and it is clear to see why protein, thanks to its muscle replenishing properties, is so popular today.
What does this mean?
The fact that protein supplements are now included in the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) is a positive reflection on the sports supplements market, as we become more health and fitness conscious we inevitably see a rise in demand for health and fitness related products. The addition of protein supplements to the ONS is according to Chris Whitehouse, European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) director of strategy, a reflection of the more mainstream use of sports nutrition supplements, from professional through to recreational athletes. The protein supplement market is big for the UK economy, currently standing at £238.1m, and estimated to reach £409.3m by 2019. This places more emphasis on protein supplement manufacturers, retailers and verifiers to ensure that these supplements meet certain safety criteria, as well as remaining cost effective and useful to the consumer. The ONS list is updated every year and is based on availability throughout the year, and how much weighting the food category has in terms of public importance. Right now, protein can be found almost anywhere, and because of this the public perceived importance of protein is on the rise.
Annie- Rose Harrison- Dunn, (2015). Nutraingredients.com. Protein powders added to UK’s ‘basket of goods’. Retrieved 9th April, 2015, from http://www.nutraingredients.com/Markets-and-Trends/Protein-powders-added-to-UK-s-basket-of-goods/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=08-Apr-2015&c=FN21qK%2FOpvJmeRNBpQinDgdo8%2B37djj6