The Global "Whey Protein Market" is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecasting period (2023-2030). Whey proteins are derived from whey during cheese production and are known for improving athletic performance. They are an alternative to milk for lactose-intolerant people.
The rise in applications as dietary supplements and functional food among consumers increases the demand for whey protein ingredients. The market is witnessing vivid opportunities due to an increase in awareness among consumers for a protein healthy diet. Moreover, whey protein concentrate is a nutritional supplement manufactured after the whey is passed through ultrafiltration, electrodialysis, and ion-exchange processes.
The market is driven by several factors such as increasing global demand for dairy-based products, growing market for pediatric foods, and global trends in health and wellness, along with increased popularity of protein consumption, growing emphasis on read-to-drink, performance-boosting products, and the advancements in technology that give rise to high quality and versatile product varieties.
Whey protein’s growing popularity among the consumers is based on its various advantages including stress reduction, improvement of immune system, diet support, mass gain, and fat loss. The side effects of whey protein consumption are negligible and can only take effect on excessive intake. Hence the U.S. FDA has regulated the use of whey protein to 2g a day. Side effects of overconsumption of whey protein include nausea, diarrhea, thirst, bloating, cramps, tiredness, headache, and loss of appetite.
Sports nutrition has become increasingly popular over the past decade as interest in health, fitness, and wellbeing has grown. Originally developed for elite athletes and bodybuilders to support performance and muscle building, sports nutrition products include beverages, foods, and supplements. Today these products are increasingly being used by recreational sports enthusiasts, who get exposed to the products through health clubs and fitness centers. These products aid post-workout recovery and meet the nutritional needs of busy lifestyles. Growing urbanization and changing lifestyle of consumers will drive the market during the forecast period.
Although this market has various strong market drivers, it is still restrained by a few factors, which stunt this market’s growth. They are the high manufacturing costs of whey protein, health, and safety concerns of the same, and the stringent regulatory concerns and required certifications for marketing whey protein.
By type, the global Whey Protein Market is segmented into Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), Hydrolyzed Whey Protein (HWP), and Demineralized Whey Protein (DWP). It is expected that WPC will dominate the overall whey protein market during the forecast period. Concentrates typically have low levels of fat and cholesterol and a higher level of carbohydrates (in the form of lactose) and bioactive compounds.
Isolates are formed by removing the lactose and fat component and have a low level of bioactive compounds. Hydrolysates are comparatively more expensive as compared to isolates and concentrate and are partially hydrolyzed, thus, making their metabolism easy. Furthermore, it also bears a lower risk of causing allergy than the other forms of whey. Native whey is the purest form of whey protein and is extracted from skim milk. Among these, the highest growth rate is anticipated to be from WPI and WPH, whereas WPC owns a greater market.
By geography, the global Whey Protein market is segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, South America, and Middle East and Africa (MEA).
Europe and North America are the largest contributors to the whey protein market on account of increased whey protein production and distribution in countries, including United States in North America, and Germany, UK, and Lithuania in Europe. In Asia-Pacific, China is the fastest-growing market followed by South Korea, Thailand, and India due to increasing awareness toward about protein supplements. The North American whey protein market is mostly driven by global forces such as liberalization in trade, growing demand for whey in Mexico and Canada.
Whey protein market of Asia-Pacific is growing rapidly due to various reasons associated with socio-economic trends in the region. Major producers of food and beverages in Asia are now capitalizing on the functional benefits of whey protein as an important ingredient for the market of sports nutrition and are developing wide range of whey protein products through research and developments. China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam are the promising and high-growth countries in the region. In South America, Brazil accounted for a majority share in region, followed by Colombia, Peru, and Chile.
Key players are adopting strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, regional expansion, and product launches to stand out as strong competitors in the market. Global Whey Protein Market is a competitive market with the presence of various global and regional players in the market. Major players are conducting surveys and collaborating with customers, especially in Asia-Pacific region to supply products specific to local tastes and conditions. Key global players are also focused on reducing the cost of production and increasing scale, thereby gaining an advantage over local producers. Creating consumer awareness by aggressive marketing strategies and greater visibility of products across retail space are other steps taken by producers to generate demand.
Intense rivalry among top players in the market has started fierce competition at various levels for developing new products, setting a low price, driving aggressive marketing strategies, and new product launches according to consumers’ preferences.
Major players in the market are Agropur (Davisco Business Unit), Arla Foods, Fonterra Co-operative Group, Milk Specialties, and Glanbia. Other key players in the market include Hilmar Cheese Company, Maple Island Inc., Foremost Farms, Valio Ltd, and DMK Group.