Designer Protein, based in Carlsbad, CA, is one of the legacy brands in the sports and active nutrition business. Since its founding almost three decades ago, the brand focused primarily on whey protein.
Support from paleo, keto trends
That started to change a few years ago, as the company went through some management changes, said Shawn Sherwood, vice president of R&D and product development.
Designer Protein moved with the times and branched out from whey protein, still the most researched protein from a muscle protein synthesis standpoint, to delve into the plant based nutrition trend.
“We started out doing whey protein and they started doing some plant based products about six or seven years ago now,” Sherwood told NutraIngredients-USA.
Now other shifts in the marketplace have opened a door for Designer Protein’s newest offering, called Totally Egg, which the company bills as the first egg protein powder to contain the vital nutrients of both egg yolk and whites.
Sherwood said that shifts in diet preferences have made the new protein attractive.
“We are seeing a lot of people who are eating paleo as well as following the ketogenic diet. Eggs generally fit in well with that,” Sherwood said.
“We took this idea to one of our suppliers and they took a shot at isolating a protein out of the whole egg. This includes some of the micro fractions of proteins that you find in the yolk,” he said.
Trend toward cleaner labels
The protein also fits into another trend toward clean label ingredients, said Designer Protein CEO Paul Pruett.
“In creating Totally Egg, we are satisfying the consumer’s need for quality protein with clean ingredients, high protein levels and low caloric content,” Pruett said.
Concerns about the contents of protein powders was raised recently by a report released by Denver-based nonprofit group The Clean Label Project. The report purported to find significant levels of heavy metals and other contaminants in a wide variety of protein powders. While some industry experts took issue with the report, the group did note that animal proteins in general tested cleaner than plant-based varieties, and egg-based proteins tested as the cleanest.
Sherwood said the product was launched formally at the Natural Products Expo West trade show in March. Since then, sales have been encouraging.
“I think this product crosses off a lot of different, specific things people are trying to get out of their protein product. It’s great for weight loos, great for gaining muscle or for recovery. It really is kind of an overall wellness protein,” Sherwood said.
“Since we have launched it we have had trouble keeping it in stock,” he said.