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Busy consumers drive protein inclusion

Today’s modern consumers live busy lives with long working hours and huge ambitions when it comes to parenthood, cultivating friendships and staying fit and healthy. Time is a valuable asset, and most of us can recognize the struggle to balance a hectic work life with family, friends and daily exercise.

The modern and busy consumers are on a constant outlook for new ways to free up minutes of the day, and typically they turn to convenient fast service options when it comes to food. Their lifestyle leaves very little or no time at all for cooking. And as they do not cook, they can all together reduce the time spend on buying groceries. The busy consumer often turns to easy grab-and-go options they can buy and enjoy while on the go.

Convenient – and healthy

Convenience is key, and these consumers are eager to adopt new options that can help them free up time. Modern consumers want to stay fit, and healthy and they want to feel good about what they eat and what they feed their families. So, even though convenience is key, they are still demanding nutritious and healthy foods.

Not only does this consumer group not prioritize time for cooking, they rarely have time to sit down and concentrate on eating a meal. They would usually grab a snack or a meal kit and eat it while on the go or while sitting at the computer. The interesting thing is that they are increasingly mindful about what they eat. They expect a snack or meal replacer to provide them with the recommended daily intake of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and proteins. And at the same time, they demand freshly prepared food, clean label and tasty options.

Today, consumers opt for healthy grab-and-go food and drinks – such as salads, sandwiches, nutrition bars, collagen shots, protein drinks, and high-in-protein smoothies.

Satisfying individual needs becomes more important

The other side of the coin for many of these busy consumers is that a growing number of people are suffering from sleep disorder, stress, anxiety and other health issues.

As consumers are increasingly looking for food and meal kit options that can satisfy their individual needs, we see a growth in indulging foods, which can help people wind down or simply cover needs for emotional comfort.

The products available must be both satisfying, healthy and nutritious, and many consumers are looking for products high in protein. For one thing they are looking to increase the protein intake in every meal, but also to distribute their protein intake throughout the day. In fact, CAGR of snacking launches tracked with a high protein claim from 2015-2020 was +16.8 % (Innova Market Insights, 2020).

Huge growth in meal kits

Meal kits are on the rise, and even ready meals that are easy to heat up and made from wholesome raw materials are gaining traction among modern consumers. Many of these consumers still surge the taste and the experience of a homecooked meal – just without the preparation.

For food producers around the globe, there are huge opportunities within the segment of healthy and nutritious meal kits and new on-the-go options. The market for especially meal kits has grown tremendously over the past 5 years. We see growth rates (CAGR) of 28 % in the number of launches tracked globally by Innova Market Insights from 2015 to 2020. There are market shares to win in this market, because the number of busy consumers is increasing, as it includes everyone from Gen X to Z – and it is tempting to predict that future generations will also tab into this lifestyle.

A trend or here to stay?

For the past 10 years, we have seen consumers desiring comfort foods, energy-boosting foods and beverages, and a variety of on-the-go products. And nothing indicates that this trend is on a downward direction. More than ever, consumers focusing on convenience, health and comfort in everyday life.

Finding the right protein source for your snack or meal kit option can be difficult. Please, refer to the Essentia protein/collagen/bone broth portfolio to find an optimum solution.

Convenience is key, and the market is enormous and still growing. Furthermore, a segment of active seniors is also pushing the market for healthy meal options – using the exact same arguments, they are looking for nutritious and healthy products to help build muscles, hydrate skin, improve tissue and the overall wellbeing in their senior years. It appears to become mainstream, and consumers across the world will expectedly continue to strive for fast, nutritious, healthy and convenient food and drink solutions.

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