Consumers in the U.S. are looking for more nutrients in their diet, and what they want most is protein.
David Portalatin, vice president, food industry analyst, The NPD Group Inc., told attendees at the first Feed Strategy Conference, presented by WATT Global Media at the International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta, that 61 percent of consumers say they want more protein in their diets.
Meanwhile, 54 percent of consumers say they want more whole grains and 52 percent say they want to add more dietary fiber to their diets.
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Plant-based proteins have become mainstream in diets in the U.S., Portalatin said. While the majority of Americans is seeking more protein, not all of them want to consume more meat to reach that goal; 14 percent of the population consumes plant-based alternatives, although 86 percent do not consider themselves vegetarian or vegan, he said. Protein-rich foods are often low in sugar and carbohydrates, which may be fueling the want for more protein.
Chicken remains the primary choice for the “center-of-the-plate” animal protein, Portalatin said, and he believes the decline in beef consumption may have leveled off. While egg consumption is growing, eggs have yet to regain the place they once held in our diets.
In this video from the conference, Portalatin discusses consumers’ changing tastes and how the poultry industry can meet this challenge.