The majority of U.S. consumers (78 percent) believe that protein contributes to a healthy diet and more than half of adults say they want more of it in their diets, reports The NPD Group. According to NPD's new report "Protein Perceptions and Needs," about half of consumers are looking at non-meat sources for added protein, while the other half consider meat and fish as their best source.
According to a news release, consumers who are willing to look beyond meat are motivated by health-related reasons, such as less fat, lower calorie amounts or cheaper costs.
NPD reports that some of these perceived barriers could be at play for the beef category, which is not seeing the same consumption increases seen with other protein sources, such as eggs, chicken, yogurt, and nuts/seeds.
"It is important for food and beverage marketers to highlight wherever possible that their products are a good source of lean protein. In fact, the protein study we conducted showed certain messages about protein resonated more than others," Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst and co-author of the report, said in the release.