Protein Consumers Fall Into Three Segments

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. -- Consumers of protein can be segmented into three categories: Traditional Protein Purists, those who are much more likely to consider animal proteins as their main source of protein; Flexible Protein Users; and Knowledgeable But Indifferent, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

“While Traditional Protein Purists stick to their traditional meat sources for protein, they are also likely to have more meals that are rounded out with vegetables and grains,” said Darren Seifer, NPD's food and beverage industry analyst. “Unlike Flexible Protein Users, it would be difficult to convince these protein consumers to use a different protein source than animal protein." 

With growing consumer interest in incorporating more protein into their diets, NPD's Protein Perceptions and Needs report found that animal proteins such as meat and fish are among the most popular types of protein, with 60 percent of respondents saying they eat such foods every day.

Consumers believe beef and chicken are the best sources of protein, followed closely by fish. 

Pork, ham, shellfish, lamb and bacon trail behind. Consumers are also less likely to cite dairy and eggs as the best sources of protein, NPD found. 

"For food manufacturers and retailers to reach this group, it’s a matter of understanding and reflecting their needs in product development and marketing messaging,” concluded Seifer.

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