Breakthrough consumer research conducted in the US, UK, Brazil and Japan reveals positive perception of whey protein hydrolysates among consumers who practice sports regularly
With the aim of gaining a better understanding of the global awareness and perception of whey protein hydrolysates (WPH) among active consumers, Arla Foods Ingredients commissioned a consumer survey by Lindenberg International. The survey, the first of its kind, showed that active consumers have a positive perception of whey protein hydrolysates and have a relatively high awareness and understanding of its benefits.
Whey protein hydrolysates have been used in sports nutrition products for some years. However, it is still a relatively new ingredient in this market compared to other traditional ingredients, such as whey protein concentrates and whey protein isolates. Whey protein hydrolysates are closely related to the two other protein forms mentioned here, with the main difference being that hydrolysates add enzymes followed by purification procedures, resulting in smaller protein particles that are easier to digest, which makes them available more quickly for muscle growth and recovery.
To meet the goal of this research, the survey gathered 2,649 respondents who exercise three hours a day. The respondents came from the US, UK, Brazil and Japan, representing four different continents. They were asked about their protein consumption, their perception of whey proteins and their awareness and perception of whey protein hydrolysates.
The results of the survey provided useful insights into the positive market development of whey protein hydrolysates in the sports nutrition market. Among other eye-opening findings, the most exciting data points are:
- Nearly half of the respondents (48%) said they had heard of whey protein hydrolysates. And within this group, 60% said they believed them to be better than standard whey proteins, 29% didn’t know whether they were better, and only 11% thought they weren’t better.
- Researchers also asked those respondents who were aware of whey protein hydrolysates to indicate a benefit associated with them. One third (34%) said ‘muscle building’, 29% cited ‘faster absorption into the muscles’, 24% selected ‘muscle recovery’ and 13% high-lighted ‘increased performance’.
- Those who had heard of whey protein hydrolysates consume them on average eight times a month (see below a graph with data by country).
An executive summary of the survey is ready for download on this page. If you work for a sports nutrition manufacturer or distributor, you are most welcome to contact our experts for access to the full report containing the complete data set and insights by country.
The study was commissioned by Arla Foods Ingredients.