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Suit Your Healthy Foods and Beverages to a “Pea”

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Suit Your Healthy Foods and Beverages to a “Pea”

Consumers are demanding more from pea protein products than ever before. Here’s how ADM, the leader in pea protein research, technology and innovation, can help you gain traction in the plant-protein market.

Did someone ask, “More peas, please?”

Yes, actually.

Of all the emerging plant-based protein products – pea dominates. According to Mintel (2020), pea protein is the fastest-growing plant protein in global alternative product launches since 2015.

While more consumers are identifying themselves as “vegan” there is more spirited, significant growth in those who are flexitarian, purposefully seeking out perceived healthier, more diverse plant-based alternatives to conventional animal-based products, including dairy.


Through ADM’s Outside VoiceSM​ research, the company found that 56% of global flexitarians said they are “trying to eat more plant-based foods and beverages, but still eat meat/dairy alt products.” The motivation? They’re seeking to add dietary diversity with plant-based ingredients/solutions rather than limiting or excluding certain foods.

Plant-based products are viewed favorably especially by adults aged 18 to 44 (Millennials and Generation Z). This large global consumer group is seeking more variety, plant-diversity and sustainability credentials in their diets and lifestyles.  As early adopters of food trends, these consumers are most interested in bringing variety to their plant protein eating occasions, according to ADM Outside Voice SM​ 2020.

The key word is “variety.” Plant proteins – especially pea proteins – need to be inherently flexible and fulfill all the key persuasive purchase factors: nutrient-density, appealing taste and mouthfeel.  

Tall order -- but PurelyNature™ pea protein portfolio from ADM meets all those demands. ADM’s pea protein lineup is a formulator’s dream – and is the best performing pea protein portfolio in the industry.

ADM’s PurelyNature™ pea protein portfolio offers one of the cleanest flavor profiles in the industry, including options with high gel strength and high solubility and others with lower viscosity. PurelyNature™ versatile and functional pea proteins are easier to work with and star in a wider range of formulations.

In performance studies, ADM’s pea protein was shown to have more than twice the solubility and the greatest gel strength when compared to competing products1​ – making it an ideal choice for applications such as powdered and ready-to-drink beverages, meat alternatives, dairy alternatives, cereals, snacks, bars, and others.

When compared to competing products in sensory testing, ADM’s pea protein was shown to have the lowest undesirable sensory characteristics such as beany, grassy, raw, green, chalky, astringent and aromatic, to name a few. 2​ For formulators, this means less time and resources spent on finding the right masking agents.

A key component of consumer appeal is color, and with protein, color can often be challenge for developers. The PurelyNature™ pea protein line features solutions that are lighter in color compared to competitive products,1​ making it easier for developers to achieve the desired end color for their application.


Nutritionally, ADM’s pea protein powders pack the power consumers want: each features an 80% minimum protein content with very high overall nutritional quality.

Combining plant proteins is a viable way to improve taste and texture in an application while also achieving dietary and plant diversity. Additionally, flexitarian consumers have a higher affinity for protein blends and are willing to pay a premium price for these products, according to ADM Outside VoiceSM​ research.

PurelyNature™ pea protein lineup also contains textured pea proteins which are the model combinations of pea protein and chickpea as well as pea protein with navy bean, respectively, for premium plant-forward food products that provide consumers plant diversity, and more of “the good stuff.”

And like their pea protein powder siblings, ADM’s textured pea proteins have cleaner taste than other pea proteins, which consumers will enjoy. Formulators will appreciate ADM’s textured pea protein’s high water-holding capacity and faster hydration properties, making it easier to formulate meat alternatives with the expected bite and chew.

Products made with ADM’s pea protein portfolio are wide spanning, including powdered and ready-to-drink beverages, meat alternatives, dairy alternatives, cereals, snacks, bars and others. From breakfast through a midnight snack and every morsel in between, ADM’s superior pea proteins can help you differentiate and cultivate loyal consumers.

The PurelyNature™ traceability and quality story is straightforward. ADM’s network of domestic North American growers ensures the highest-quality ingredients and consistency from farm to plate. All parts of the pea are used, adding value via byproducts with U.S. origins and non-GMO sourcing.

According to ADM Outside VoiceSM​ research, 28% of global plant protein consumers consider pea protein to be eco-friendly – and they are correct. Peas require less water, are drought tolerant, and reduce the need for fertilizers, making them an ideal candidate for crop rotation.

ADM is the expert in plant proteins, offering a sizeable portfolio of more than 30 distinct wholesome ingredient sources to achieve consumers’ current and future plant-protein diversity needs.

ADM’s expansive portfolio of on-trend ingredients, combined with its leadership in plant proteins and flavor craftsmanship help brands meet consumer preferences with the cleanest tasting, best color, high-functionality, nutrient-dense and sustainable pea protein solutions in the industry.


Resources:1 DM Protein Science & Technology Group (July 2020)2 ADM TAP Trained Sensory Panel (July 2020)

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