Arla Foods Ingredients has identified high-protein iced tea as the next big trend in beverages.
Demand for functional / fortified beverages is increasing rapidly. In the US alone, where sales grew by 51% between 2014 and 2019, the market is projected to be worth 819 million USD by 2024.[i]
To meet this demand, both sports and mainstream brands are seeking to create new functional beverage products – and many are turning their attention to tea.
Iced tea has long been popular as a healthy beverage due to its antioxidant properties, and many products now carry superfood claims. One way to further boost its nutritional value is to add whey protein isolate (WPI). WPI’s benefits for building and maintaining muscle mass are well known and it has been used in RTD beverages for many years.
However, delivering on the promise of a protein-rich beverage while maintaining tea’s clean, refreshing taste can be difficult. Arla Foods Ingredients offers three different processing-stable WPI solutions that can overcome this challenge, allowing the creation of delicious, high-protein iced tea beverages:
- Lacprodan® ISO.Water can be used to make UHT-stable beverages with a clean and water-like taste.
- Lacprodan® ISO.Clear can be used to make clear beverages with a natural and refreshing taste profile.
- Lacprodan® ISO.WaterShake can be used in a clear and water-like ready-to-shake iced tea that delivers 20g of protein and no sugar or fat.
Ulrik Bank Pedersen General Manager, North America, at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “Demand for innovative functional beverages is huge and high-protein iced tea is the perfect way to tap into it. One reason tea and protein are perfect partners is that both offer well recognized health benefits. Tea, which has been the drink of choice for millions of people around the world for centuries, has a powerful association with wellness. Similarly, protein’s benefits in areas such as weight loss and muscle growth are increasingly sought after by consumers.”
Clean-label claims are particularly important in the iced tea segment, where there is strong preference for products that are natural and sugar-free.[ii]
Ulrik Bank Pedersen added: “By offering high-protein iced teas, manufacturers can put a new spin on an established consumer favorite without compromising on taste. And unlike some beverage ingredients, protein doesn’t set alarm bells ringing – in fact it’s likely to increase appeal. Whether it’s in an RTD or a shake, our solutions are the perfect way to create tasty, convenient high-protein iced teas that quench the thirst of health-conscious consumers.”
Arla Foods Ingredients’ WPI solutions can help manufacturers develop high-protein iced teas with the following benefits:
- Zero taste of protein
- Refreshing iced tea taste
- Real tea extract
- High-quality protein
[i] Euromonitor, Fortified / Functional Beverages in the US, 2020
[ii] Innova New Products Database
* According to EU Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 and 21 CFR Part 101
** Not regulated on EU level, but on national levels
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