Protein Snacking Transcends the Wellness Aisle

Not so long ago, consumers shopping for protein products had only a very limited range of options (mostly bars and shakes). These products were largely relegated to their own section of the grocery store – often not even in any food aisles, but closer to the center of the store where health and wellness products are stocked.

Vitamin supplements, cold medicine, and protein shakes lived together as confusing neighbors, as industry titans like BOOST and Ensure were relegated to second-class status compared to other bottled drinks that were merchandised in the beverage aisle. This is because diet culture long demanded that these types of consumables not really be thought of as standard “food”, per se, as much as they were tools intended to aid consumers in reaching their goals.

This is quickly changing. As shoppers strive for overall healthier lifestyles, protein consumption is being integrated with regular snacking, with added protein appearing in products ranging from chips to cookies.

This demonstrates a larger trend in dieting that we’ve recognized, which is that shoppers are moving away from restrictive diets and are increasingly concerned with adding value to their eating routines. Protein-packed products are no longer seen as merely a means to an end, something to be consumed reluctantly in place of a more satisfying or substantial meal. Instead, shoppers want to figure out how they can have their cake and eat their protein too – and brands have been all too willing to oblige.

This is a refreshing shift away from antiquated perspectives on dieting and protein. With this massive increase in choice, shoppers are being given the freedom to enhance their current lifestyles, rather than altering them completely. For many, this is a much more attractive course, and is encouraging for those who may not feel ready to make an extreme detour into unfamiliar eating habits. Rather, they’re now able to make their snacking count for more, and to do more for them on the whole.

We have called out this trend on Instagram, where we are running a new series called #TrendTuesday. Follow Works Design Group’s account for weekly insights for a variety of categories from across the grocery store.


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