What’s Next For Protein In Dairy?

For dairy manufacturers and consumers, the more protein the better.

Following the success of high-protein Greek yogurt, dairy manufacturers today are leveraging interest in protein by experimenting with high protein pairings and adding interesting flavors to cheese spreads and snacks.

To amplify the protein content in dairy snacks, a few new products have emerged that combine cheese and meat. One example is a new grab-and-go snack by Cheesewich®, which contains salami and cheese, packed with 14 to 16 grams of protein, says Abby Despins, National Product Communications, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, based in Madison, Wisconsin.1,2

“Burnett Dairy also recently released a new line of meat-infused cheese sticks to give consumers more protein in their snacks,” states Despins. One cheese stick in Zesty Teriyaki, Hot Pepper Beef or Pepperoni Pizza flavors contains 6 to 8 grams of protein.3

Sincerely Brigitte is creating cheese snacks full of protein. Their cheese sticks feature unique flavors, such as White Cheddar Chipotle, Garlic Basil and Tomato Olive. “Each [cheese] stick averages 7 to 9 grams of protein,” adds Despins.4,5

Cheese products continue to compete with Greek yogurt’s versatility and protein content, such as BelGioioso® Ricotta con Latte®. Compared to the leading Greek yogurt, BelGioioso® Ricotta con Latte® offers more protein and also claims to have four times more calcium in a 6 ounce serving.6

Drinkable yogurt remains a hot area for higher protein dairy products right now, with Dannon® Light & Fit® Protein Smoothie, Lifeway® Protein Kefir, Dairy Innovations™ Fruzinga® and LALA® Greek Yogurt Smoothie drinks,7 amongst others, says Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director, Canadean Consumer, who is based in New York. These new drinkable yogurts walk the line between snacks and beverages, proving to be a solid on-the-go option for consumers.

Cottage cheese is expanding to include new flavor profiles and vitamin-packed frozen desserts are innovating to include more protein, says Vierhile.8

Artisa® Fine Curd Cottage Cheese, for example, is available in low-fat, high protein single servings of Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry, Pineapple, Wild Berry, Peach and Apple Cinnamon.9,10 Also, Good Culture® Cottage Cheese comes in Blueberry Acai Chia, Classic, Kalamata Olive, Strawberry Chia and Sundried Tomato flavors.11

In the realm of dairy desserts, ice cream is branching out with high protein options, as well. Ice cream that can be a sweet treat, while containing 15 grams of protein per 4 ounce serving with additional vitamins opens doors for healthier innovations. Forte™, for one, has High Protein Gelato in Vanilla, Chocolate, Ginger and Espresso flavors.12

Also Brio® Frozen Dairy Dessert offers a “smart ice cream” that contains 6 grams of protein, vitamins, omega’s 3, 6 and 9, and rBST-free milk in 4 ounce servings of Coffee Latte, Mellow Dark Chocolate, Spring Strawberry, Tropical Mango and Vanilla-Caramel flavors.13

Consumer interest in high protein snacks to satisfy hunger or provide energy isn’t going away. Dairy manufacturers can highlight the naturally high protein content in their snacks, or may even consider pairing them with other protein-containing items to meet this growing demand.

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[1] Abby Despins e-mail conversation (September 6, 2016)

[2] Cheesewich,(October 13, 2016). Retrieved from: http://cheesewich.net/

[3] Abby Despins e-mail conversation (September 6, 2016)

[4] Abby Despins e-mail conversation (September 6, 2016)

[5] Sincerely Brigitte, (October 13, 2016), My Fitness Pal. Retrieved from: http://www.myfitnesspal.fr/en/food/calorie-chart-nutrition-facts

[6] BelGioioso Ricotta Con Latte, (October 13, 2016), Wegmans. Retrieved from: http://www.wegmans.com

[7] Canadean Consumer Research, (September 7, 2016)

[8] Tom Vierhile e-mail conversation (September 7, 2016)

[9] Artisa, (October 13, 2016). Retrieved from: http://www.artisabrand.com/our-products/strawberry/

[10] Canadean Consumer Research, (September 7, 2016)

[11] Canadean Consumer Research, (September 7, 2016)

[12] Canadean Consumer Research, (September 7, 2016)

[13] Canadean Consumer Research, (September 7, 2016)