The product, called Whole, is part of its Fonterra Brands stable, and contains 5g of Fonterra’s ClearProtein and 1.5g of fiber, along with 2.5g of sugar or 30 calories.
A search of Mintel’s Global New Products Database produced no protein-based water products.
Fonterra has chosen New Zealand as the pilot market where it will retail at NZ$2.99 (US$1.73). Although it launched the product under its own banner in New Zealand, it said it was looking to partner with major beverage players in other markets like the US.
Decade of research
The company said its IP-protected process allowed it to incorporate whey protein fractions at high-dose, satiety-delivering levels, although it would not reveal detail of that technological advance.
“This product is the culmination of over a decade of research into processing techniques and the important health benefits of proteins and their impact on the human metabolism,” Josh Hosking, Fonterra USA business development manager, told NutraIngredients-USA.com, which worked with its NZ HQ and technical centers in Australia and Germany in the product's development.
“Never before has protein been able to be added into a beverage without negatively impacting the flavor,” he added.
He said a research survey conducted by Massey University in New Zealand “demonstrated women who consumed Whole felt significantly less tempted to snack and ate significantly fewer snacks than on days without Whole.”
Whole is available in 500ml bottles in three flavors: berry, lemon lime and tangerine and is being distributed in supermarkets, dairies, cafes and service stations across New Zealand.
The company said US market research revealed the product appealed to both men and women in multiple age brackets.
Local market research showed 64 per cent of New Zealanders preferred to eat healthy snacks.
Fonterra said ClearProtein had potential beyond functional waters.
"There is a growing appetite for sports drinks and functional beverages relating to modern lifestyle trends - people have less time and require nutritious options on-the-go,” said Fonterra Ingredients global category manager for Functional Nutrition, Nigel Little, in a statement.
“The ClearProtein range has significant potential for our global customers as it can be used in a wide range of applications, such as functional waters, sports beverages, jelly drinks and weight management beverages.”