UK: Pioneering fresh whey protein drink

A whey drink aimed at mainstream consumers as well as sportspeople has been launched by UK dairy ingredients company Volac. The new high protein, low fat dairy drink – Upbeat – is made from fresh liquid whey protein concentrate and real fruit, and is a first for the UK, offering an easy, yet healthy, source of protein and sustenance on the go. [Click pic to enlarge]

Volac is one of the fastest growing dairy companies in the UK, and Europe’s largest producer of whey protein for the sports nutrition market, with a turnover in excess of £200m. The launch of Upbeat marks the next step for this pioneering company.

“Upbeat is available in a convenient 250ml bottle containing 20g of protein, bringing the benefits of a high quality source of protein to a wide audience, well beyond the established sports nutrition market. Upbeat will focus on busy people who lead full lives, but will also be relevant to others at a time when obesity is high on people’s agenda, snacking and satiety are debated, and sugar content and sources of protein are so topical,” commented Susie Hignett, brand manager for Upbeat. 

“Upbeat is truly healthy, not only for being high protein and low fat, but also because it contains no more than 150 calories and has less than half the sugar found in leading smoothies and fruit juices. Upbeat is made from British milk and is a natural source of calcium. That’s why it’s a great option for all health conscious consumers, post-pregnancy mums, vegetarians and those cutting down on meat consumption, as well as the body conscious and performance sports people.”

Mark Neville, owner and Director of Volac’s Human Nutrition business said: “Upbeat is the first of its kind in the UK. Developed over several years using a proprietary technology and process, Upbeat stands out for being high protein and low fat and yet also has a luxurious mouthfeel. We’ve also chosen to go fresh to ensure the drink tastes great, essential for mass market appeal, and to preserve its natural and rich nutritional profile.”

Mark added: “Following the research we’ve done, we believe Upbeat will create a new category of protein drinks among the array of drinks available, especially those delivering added benefits. High protein dairy drinks will come to sit alongside hydration drinks such as water and coconut water, fruit smoothies, and energy drinks. We all need protein and yet don’t necessarily get the benefit from it across the day – now we can. Volac is committed to supporting Upbeat with a fully integrated launch campaign and over the long term. There’s nothing out there like Upbeat and we are confident it will be a success.”

In Strawberry and Mango & Passion Fruit, Upbeat is available in chiller cabinets in stores across London and surrounding towns from May 2013, with an RSP of £1.79 for a 250ml bottle.

To find out more about Upbeat:

UK: The protein-supplement industry takes a punch

The Economist reports that UK sales of sports-nutrition products, most of them based on whey protein, have doubled since 2007 to reach £260m ($396m) last year.

The growth, it says, was driven by the decision in 2005 of Maximuscle, the leading supplier, to break the tight link between protein supplements and extreme bodybuilding and extend their appeal to mainstream consumers. By 2012, one in ten men was using sports supplements at least once a week, according to YouGov, a research firm.

But, says the report, sports-nutrition products are under pressure from several developments, not least the fact that the British Dietetic Association says that for most gym users, a pint of milk provides sufficient protein for muscle recovery.

The European Food Safety Authority has ruled that protein supplements can no longer be flogged as shortcuts to an Olympian torso. More troubling still, in October sports-nutrition products became subject to value-added tax. GlaxoSmithKline, which bought Maximuscle in 2010, says that as a result, “overall category growth has declined significantly”.

The Economist: Read the full article