“We are seeing a clear trend in our target customers looking for broader solutions to bring more protein into their diet in ways beyond bars and powders,” said Doug Jones, Sr VP of merchandising for the retailer. “Protein is no longer a focus for just performance athletes, our core Vitamin Shoppe customer is deeply focused on nutritional fortification to help achieve their goals of living a healthy, active lifestyle.”
The Vitamin Shoppe has been introducing protein-packed foods such as pancake mixes, nut butters and spreads, powdered peanut butter, over several months, the company said. The new Protein Pantry assortment is now available at approximately 700 Vitamin Shoppe locations across the country and online at VitaminShoppe.com, it said.
Meghan Biango, manager of corporate communications for The Vitamin Shoppe, told us that the company started introducing these products to our customers earlier this year, and, due to customer demand, it decided to build out a dedicated section in its stores and add even more items to create Protein Pantry.
“The majority of the items in Protein Pantry are new additions to our assortment,” she said. “The Protein Pantry is currently approximately 40 products and we expect that number to grow.”
The Protein Pantry offers an assortment from some new vendor partners, including Buff Bake, D's Naturals, Mancakes, P28 Foods, and more.
Functional food expansion
“We are devoting increasing shelf space to functional foods,” added Biango. “Over the past year, on-the-go nutrition has been our fastest growing category and we are seeing customers looking to bring more protein in their diet in ways beyond pills and powders. Over the next year, we will continue to test and broaden focus on adjacent categories to our business, including functional foods.”
According to the 2015 edition of Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ), in 2014, within the U.S. Nutrition Industry, the Functional Foods category grew 7.8% and the Natural & Organic Foods category grew an even faster 12.7%, demonstrating demand and growth for new products in these categories. The NBJ is projecting similar growth trends for the next five years.
FNU’s Protein Forum
Experts from Exo, The Hartman Group, Beyond Meat, and Abbott Nutrition will join FoodNavigator-USA’s Elizabeth Crawford for an hour long discussion about future opportunities with protein. The November 4, 2105 forum will address the following questions:
1. What is the current and future potential of protein?
2. What are the opportunities and challenges for different protein sources?
3. From a manufacturing perspective, what is it like to work with different proteins?
4. What is the best way for manufacturers to position their protein-packed products?
For more information and to register for the FREE-TO-ATTEND online event, please click HERE.