2018 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar

Originally Published: August 10, 2018
Last Updated: February 10, 2021
2018 PTT Program Banner FEATURE

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Global Food Forums® held a very successful 6th annual Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar on May 22-23, 2018 in Itasca, Illinois, USA. Some 250 event attendees arrived from six continents including New Zealand and India. The event consisted of two separate programs.

Tuesday, May 22nd – Pre-Conference Program: Protein Ingredient Business Strategies

This program focused on factors impacting consumers and the global protein ingredient market, including emerging technologies. An Innovative Challenger Brand Panel provided insights into entrepreneurial companies that are changing traditional business models.

Wednesday, May 23th – Technology Program – Formulating with Proteins

This program began with an overview of consumer and protein product trends, regulatory issues on labeling higher level protein foods, beverages and supplements and emerging allergen considerations. Nutritional aspects of proteins, use of non-GMO certification and formulation advice in regards to flavors as well as physiochemical properties of plant proteins and what that means for opportunities and challenges in their use were also covered.

An  Innovative Protein Product Sampling Station offered attendees the opportunity to try new consumer products with emerging ingredients and/or that exemplified current food trends.



  • Consumer Trends in Protein: What is the Real Marketing Opportunity?

Speaker: Steve French, MBA, Managing Partner, NMI

Over 140 million Americans are seeking foods that are high in protein, creating opportunities for many consumer-packaged goods categories throughout the supply chain. And, with two-thirds of consumers using high-protein foods/beverages, what is driving this trend based on the reasons for use? Insights and analysis, driven from NMI databases based on over 100,000 consumer interviews, on these topics among others will be presented. This session will also focus on who the primary consumer targets really are, such as NMI’s WELL BEINGS who will continue to drive alternative forms such as plant and insect based protein into the mainstream. Are you maximizing your opportunities in the marketplace? Come explore tomorrow’s trends for actionable marketing strategies today.

  • Global Trends, Drivers and Prospects in the Evolving Sports Nutrition Market

Speaker: Carolina Ordonez, MBA, Senior Consumer Health Analyst, Euromonitor International

Consumers worldwide are adopting healthy living and fitness trends, especially across developed markets where healthy lifestyles have become the new normal. Protein continues to drive the sports nutrition industry; however, broad categories of new users are emerging, looking for products that support their fitness goals and match their lifestyles. This is correspondingly expanding the consumer base for sports nutrition and protein products. To succeed in this new world, firms need to understand consumers’ crowd culture to better engage them while continuing to innovate based on consumer demands.

  • Emerging Protein Ingredient Technologies For Strategic Business Development

Speaker: David Lafond, Ph.D., MBA, Owner, Lafond Food Technology LLC

As concerns about health, environment, sustainability and animal protection increase, US consumers are looking to alternative sources of protein over more traditional animal-based choices. Ingredient companies are exploring new plant-based sources of protein however, these proteins may not be as economical and or provide the same nutritional value. New technologies in genetics are providing tools to address some of these concerns. Using these technologies, startup companies are entering the protein market. This presentation will provide an overview of new protein sources and the technologies used to produce them.

  • PANEL: Innovative Challenger Brands

Moderator: Kara Nielsen, Vice President, Trends & Marketing, CCD Innovation

Challenger brand companies have captured the attention of the business community and loyal consumers as their boldness and creativity change the status quo. With resources less than would be expected considering their business ambitions, they have been defined by their mindset. They often defy category drivers, market leaders, operational norms, customer experiences and/or expectations. Their energy, vision and marketing activities disrupt the market to produce sustained, significant growth for their companies. The entrepreneurial panelists will speak on the visions they have for their company. Top business challenges will be explored such as product development and marketing to regulations and operations.


Miyoko Schinner, CEO & Founder, Miyoko’s Kitchen


Dariush Ajami headshot

Dariush Ajami, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Development, Beyond Meat


Kurt SeidenstickerKurt Seindersticker headshot, CEO and Founder, Vital Proteins


Natalie Shmulik, M.L.A., CEO, The Hatchery Chicagonatalie Shmulik headshot


  • Food & Beverage’s Migration to E-commerce; The Tipping Point Is Here

Darren Seifer headshotSpeaker: Darren Seifer, Executive Director, Industry Analyst – Food Consumption, NPD Group

The food and beverage industry has only begun its migration from a solely brick-and-mortar world to one that relies heavily on e-commerce but all signs show it’s accelerating. This session will explore the opportunities for marketers as well as barriers consumers face when deciding to purchase their groceries online. Attendees will also be given a glimpse into the future of what the food industry can expect based on NPD’s research in other industries that are further along the migration path to online sales.

  • Animal Protein Minus the Animal: The Rise of Cellular TechnologiesSpecial Session graphic

Brad Barbera headshotSpeaker: Brad Barbera, MBA, Director Of Innovation, The Good Food Institute

From reducing environmental damage and improved human health to feeding a growing population and improving animal welfare, there are many arguments for reducing our reliance on animal agriculture. Although once the fodder of science fiction, foods from animal cell technologies are becoming a cost-effective reality. This presentation will provide an overview of commercial advances in “clean meat” foods and delve briefly into the emerging technologies and future opportunities behind their production.


  • Trends & Takeaways in the [Still] Hot Protein Product Marketplace

Lynn Dornblaser HeadshotSpeaker: Lynn Dornblaser, Director, Innovation & Insight, Mintel

Consumers continue to look to protein-centric products for health, appearance and basic food needs. As this category has grown and increasingly moved mainstream, the large number of product launches has allowed for and even required increased innovation as a point of differentiation. This presentation provides an update on current consumer interests in this area. It will additionally take a deeper-dive into creative new products among protein-promoting foods and look at a few ideation-inspiring products from other food categories.

  • Protein Quality and Labeling: Defending Attacks from Regulators, Attorneys and Competitors

Justin Prochnow headshotSpeaker: Justin J. Prochnow, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Protein call-outs are often an important element of the marketing and labeling of food, beverage and supplement products. As alternative protein sources, such as collagen, gelatin, and plant-based proteins are explored, questions regarding the quality of such proteins and the range of permissible claims are raised. Additionally, the scrutiny of protein claims has also increased, drawing attention from federal and state regulators, class action plaintiff lawyers, and competitors alike. Accordingly, in this session, we will discuss how companies can understand considerations regarding protein quality and permissible claims, which is paramount to achieving success while staying out of trouble.

  • Food Allergies: A Challenge for Current and Emerging Proteins

Steve Taylor HeadshotSpeaker: Steve Taylor, Ph.D., Professor and Co-Director, Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, University of Nebraska

The food industry has been reasonably well versed in the basics of food allergies including hazards and control steps. However, the food supply is changing. Consumers are attracted to emerging sources of protein and entrepreneurial food companies market exciting, nutritious, but nontraditional ingredients in their foods and beverages. In some products, the level of protein is comparatively high. While proteins add value to new food products, they can also occasionally lead to the development of food allergies in some consumers. This presentation will provide a greater understanding of the potential allergic risks associated with current and novel protein sources. Consumer risks are low and manageable with adherence to good labeling practices. And, new clinical approaches to increasing protein tolerance in infancy will be discussed.

  • Plant Proteins: Opportunities, Challenges & Tips for Successful Use in Formulations

Anusha Samaranayaka Speaker PHOTOSpeaker: Anusha Samaranayaka, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, POS Bio-Sciences

Plant proteins are taking the center stage to fulfil the rising demand for protein foods and supplements and the need to find sustainable protein sources for a growing world population. While numerous plant protein sources have been introduced into the market, food formulators are trying figure out how to select and utilize these proteins to achieve the optimal product quality and flavor. Identifying target consumers and specific food applications improves the likelihood of success when these innovative ingredients are incorporated into conventional and new food formulations. Additionally, important information includes the availability, affordability, safety, regulatory status, and most importantly the functionality, taste, and color characteristics of protein sources.

  • Formulating With Whey In A Fully Transparent Market

Chris Lockwood headshotSpeaker: Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., President, Lockwood LLC

As consumer trends dismantle the use of proprietary blends and regulators take aim at protein claims, formulators and brands need to evolve in their use of protein if they’re to stay ahead of their competition. Learn why whey is and will remain the protein leader; when to use different WPCs, WPIs, or any number of degrees of hydrolysate and forms of WPH; when you should combine proteins; why you need to throw-out the thinking that proteins differ only because of their amino acid profiles and speed of absorption; and, what’s on the horizon for new discoveries in protein efficacy.

  • Nutrition Strategies to Protect Muscle Health During Aging: The Value of Protein

Douglas Paddon-Jones HeadshotSpeaker: Douglas Paddon-Jones, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, The University of Texas Medical Branch

This presentation will highlight strategies to protect muscle and metabolic health during aging. Ongoing research has bolstered support for adopting a meal-based approach to protein consumption in lieu of a less specific daily recommendation. We contend that meeting a protein threshold (approximately 30 g/high quality protein per meal) represents a promising strategy to preserve muscle mass while controlling body fat. Optimizing dietary protein intake requires detailed and coordinated consideration of factors including age, body composition status and goals, energy requirements, physical activity and exercise goals, and health status. Data from a series of NIH, NASA and industry funded trials will be shared.

  • Non-GMO Transparency: Understanding your Options

Nancy Knight HeadshotSpeaker: Nancy Knight, Director of Quality and Regulatory Compliance, Orgain

Hard to believe that what started as a consumer driven movement over 11 years ago is now one of the strongest crusades in the natural products industry. According to Nielsen, sales of food labeled “non-GMO” grew more than $8 billion from 2012 to 2016, reaching nearly $21.1 billion in total sales. While USDA Organic Certification and Non-GMO Project Verification are the behemoth’s in this category, other schemes are accepted by retailers such as Whole Foods. During this session we will look at the risks and benefits of the satisfying the consumers desire to known by exploring the most accepted non-GMO labeling options available in North America.

  • Protein + Flavor = A Formulation Challenge

Robert McGorrin HeadshotSpeaker: Robert J. McGorrin, Ph.D., Jacobs-Root Professor & Department Head, Dept. of Food Science & Technology, Oregon State University

Combining flavorings, whether natural or artificial, with protein ingredients generally produces unexpected changes in the finished product’s sensory properties. Complex interactions can result in undesirable off-flavors and/or a changed flavor profile due to flavor binding and release among other reasons. With the goal of providing insights into how to develop more consumer-pleasing foods, beverages and nutritional products, this presentation delves into proteins and flavorings, formulations and processing to show what can happen and offer considerations in how to improve the outcome.