By Margot Whitney, MS, RD, LDN
Protein has been a hot topic in the food and nutrition world for quite some time, and for good reason. Food product developers understand that certain consumer segments struggle to meet protein needs, especially those who avoid animal products. Consumers who are lowering their meat intake or avoiding meat all together often find themselves eating excessive carbohydrates and added sugars. The intake imbalance can lead to unwanted side effects like blood sugar dysregulation, muscle breakdown and fatigue. Many food companies have recognized the need to add more protein to meals and snacks.
For R&D and other innovation teams on the lookout for protein ideas, here are five protein-rich, plant-based products added to the market recently:
#1: Banza Protein Waffles
Banza is perhaps most famous for their high protein chickpea pasta, but they are not pigeonholing themselves as a pasta company. In fact, they’ve come out with a variety of high protein offerings, such as pizza, rice, and macaroni and cheese.
Consumers avoiding animal products often struggle with sufficient protein at breakfast. More recently Banza has broken into the breakfast market introducing high protein waffles. The typical bowl of cereal or frozen waffle provides at most 3 grams of protein, but Banza’s waffles contain 10 grams per serving, with homestyle, blueberry and chocolate chip flavors.
#2: Seven Sundays Oat Protein Cereal
Seven Sundays spotted the need for protein at breakfast with their new oat protein cereal. The cereal contains 5 grams of protein per 1 cup serving with 7 grams or less of sugar. The innovative flavors include chocolate sea salt, simply honey, maple cinnamon, super fruity and a limited-edition golden apple.
#3: immi Spicy Ramen Noodles
Instant ramen company immi positions their products as quick, easy and high in protein. A new example is their Spicy Red Miso ramen, which contains no animal products, 21 grams of protein and 18 grams of fiber. The products promote convenience and the benefits of protein and fiber for satiety.
#4: Whisps Cheese & Pretzel Bites
Whisps is a snack company known for their cheese crisps. Recently they’ve released cheese and pretzel bites to fulfill salty and savory cravings. The protein ranges from 5 to 8 grams per serving and are offered in three flavors ‒ honey mustard, everything and cheddar. Whisps sources their cheese products from family farms and promises 100% cheese in all snack offerings.
#5: 88 Acres Chocolate Chip Blondie Protein Bar
88 Acres is run by a Boston-based couple focused on making bars and butters without common food allergens by using seeds in place of nuts. Famous for their snack bars and seed butters, 88 Acres expanded into the market of protein bars in 2020. More recently they’ve added a new flavor, Chocolate Chip Blondie Bar. With simple ingredients, only 4 grams of added sugar, 20% daily iron requirement and 12 grams of protein, the bar is positioned as a high-protein, healthy option for on-the-go. Other flavors include dark chocolate and banana bread.