There has been a growing move towards plant-based protein powders during the last year, according to a new report.
The report from 1010data - the world’s leading big data discovery and data sharing platform - showed that plant-based protein powders are continuing to erode the market share of whey protein and gaining traction.
Amazon, the top online seller for protein powder, has noted a rise in consumers searching for alternatives to whey protein powders, noting that Vega, a completely plant-based company, was the fifth most popular brand of protein powder sold in 2016.
Vega’s success is a prime example of the rising popularity of plant proteins. Although whey protein is still the current market leader, plant proteins (rice, pea, hemp, soy, etc) are gaining share. In fact, plant protein powders from Garden of Life and Nature’s Best also made the list of top ten protein powders bought online in 2016.
It's thought that plant protein brands like Vega and Orgain who use ingredients that are organic, non-GMO and/or socially responsible (e.g fair trade, ethically produced), are also sought after due to a growing "clean eating" trend amongst consumers.
With increasing consumer awareness in the health, environmental and animal welfare impacts of our food choices, it is no surprise that people are choosing to opt for more environmentally friendly, ethically sourced products, and predications are that 2017 will be the most profitable year for vegan companies on record.
Dairy linked to obesity and various cancers
Whey is manufactured from cow's milk, and for people becoming more health conscious, cutting out whey and other dairy products is a great start. Due to media headlines showing links between dairy and obesity, as well as increased risk of various cancers, more people are choosing to ditch dairy than ever before and the dairy industry is now in decline. Increased awareness of the brutality of the dairy industry continues to be a driving factor in people switching to plant-based milks.
Why Whey Causes Bloating
Many avid gym goers complain about the bloat, constipation and gas they suffer from drinking whey protein powders, which is most commonly caused by an intolerance to lactose (as much as 1 in 5 according to Allergy UK). Many people lose the enzyme required to digest lactose (the main sugar in milk) after they are above breastfeeding age. The undigested sugars end up in the colon, where they begin to ferment, producing gas that can cause cramping, bloating, nausea, flatulence and diarrhea.
Being able to digest cow's milk in adulthood is so strange that scientists say we shouldn't really call lactose intolerance a disease, because that presumes it's abnormal. Instead, they call it lactase persistence, indicating what's really weird is the ability to continue to drink milk.
As plant based foods gain popularity many large companies are noticing the trend and investing money into more plant based products, which makes it even easier for more people to go vegan. We'll continue to see more great progress in 2017.
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