Further confirmation that the protein powder category isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and that consumer demand for the supplements hasn’t yet tapered off, 400 Whole Foods Market locations started stocking up on Ascent’s three flavors of whey protein powder this week, according to a press release from Ascent.
The whey protein powders come in chocolate, vanilla bean, cappuccino, and lemon sorbet flavors. Whole Foods Market will be stocking the two-pound bag and 15-count single serving packets for all flavors.
Whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate comprise the protein blend. For sweetness, the company uses monk fruit extract, and for the chocolate variety there is also stevia leaf extract.
Catering to the sports nutrition set
Also getting nationwide distribution at Amazon-owned Whole Foods is Ascent’s Pre-Workout Clean Energy and Hydration Fuel, which contains whey protein isolate, leucine, sodium citrate, and magnesium hydroxide. Like the whey powders, it is sweetened with monk fruit extract.
While most of the protein powders sold at Whole Foods evoke an old school, ‘natural channel’ type of branding—think serif fonts, pictures of rolling hills, and light colors—Ascent will join the likes of Glanbia’s Isopure and Optimum Nutrition products with its bold letters, sharp shapes and darker colors in Whole Foods’ supplement aisle.
It’s a move that shows how Whole Foods is dedicating more shelf space in its supplements aisle to appeal to the sports nutrition set, competing against specialty retailers like GNC or Bodybuilding.com
"Whole Foods Market is a perfect fit for Ascent's mission to help our customers naturally improve their athletic performance by providing a purer, less-processed protein product,” said Paul Vraciu, general manager of Ascent Protein.
“Our partnership with Whole Foods allows them to find their favorite protein product, on their terms, while doing all of their weekly shopping."
Internet searches for 'protein powder' on Google
Searches for 'protein powder' online in the US have continued to climb starting in 2010, with peaks around 'New Year's Resolution' time in the end of December or early January.