Demand for protein on the part of consumers continues to be strong. According to the American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI), Elmhurst, Ill., 68% of Americans surveyed in 2017 said they wanted to consume more protein, compared to 50% in 2016.
But the dairy ingredients sector has been adversely impacted by protein-related competitive pressures in recent years — namely, from plant-based alternatives. Adding to the issue is the reality that many of the alternative protein suppliers have focused on communications that connect to consumers emotionally, noted Veronique Lagrange, director, strategy and business development for ADPI. Plant-based diets are being marketed as better for consumers and better for the planet.