CytoSport Eyes Plant-Based Proteins In New Product Line

Protein drinks are growing in popularity among multiple generations of people. Athletes are using drinks to improve their performance when playing sports. Protein drinks are believed to improve performance and increase muscle mass. But while dairy-based protein shakes are still popular, there is an increasing trend of people who opt for dairy-free protein beverages. Muscle Milk Maker, CytoSport, released a line of vegan protein shakes, powder, and bars to meet the demands of its vegan and vegetarian customers.

CytoSport Launches Evolve Brand to Compete in Plant-Based Protein

Dubbed as Evolve, this new CytoSport product is made from non-GMO, plant-based protein. Derived from peas, this new line of vegan protein products come in flavors like chocolate, toasted almonds, and vanilla. With this move, CytoSport is expecting to expand their customer reach to vegans and vegetarians, who naturally do not buy their products because they are dairy-based.

Greg Longstreet, the CEO, noted that the company needs to expand their market and they predict that plant-based proteins will dominate the market ten years from now. Although this is not the first time that the company has made innovations, launching Evolve is a very bold move by the corporation as it is well-known for making conventional protein shakes and powders. The move is beyond what the company is usually used to making.

Why Plant Proteins?

But why plant proteins? There is a premise that plant proteins are better sources of protein.  In fact, it is not only CytoSport that is now developing products using plant-based proteins. Even companies like Hormel, General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Tyson Foods have invested in plant-based proteins.

Aside from increasing revenue and improving their market reach, Evolve is also a way to introduce healthy drinks to women. The thing is that while the Muscle Milk brand is preferred mostly by men, Evolve was launched with female consumers in mind. It contains fewer calories than normal dairy-based protein shakes.

The Future for CytoSport

But while plant-based protein products are gaining traction in the market these days, CytoSport is facing a significant barrier as there are still many people who believe that consuming eggs and milk are the best sources of protein, instead of plants. Although this may be the case, the company is still banking on the belief that people will have a change of heart in the coming years. This is the reason why the company is developing other plant-based proteins. As a sampler, the company is going to launch its line of protein bars this coming spring.

The company is hopeful that the plant-based proteins will be embraced by the consumers of the future a.ka. Millennials. Aside from CytoSport, even Hormel is confident with this particular line of product. In fact, Hormel CEO Jim Snee noted that the company is projected to increase its sales by 2020.

Mainly, plant-based products will dominate the market as more and more people are now embracing the trend of eating clean and healthy foods. As consumers, we should expect to see a lot of food companies following suit to meet the demands of consumers who have converted to eating clean, organic and healthy foods.

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U.S. Plant-Based Food Industry Sees Boost In Annual Sales to $5 Billion

The plant-based food and beverage industry is seeing a vast improvement in sales this past year. According to the retail sales data company SPINS, the total market of the plant-based industry was $5 billion in total sales last year. The executive director of Plant Based Food Association, Michele Simon, noted that that the growth of the plant-based food sector is stable and it is all thanks to the shift of consumers from animal products. In fact, the total sales of meat alternatives grew by 15.9% last year.

This is the reason why products like plant-based milk and refrigerated products have shown growth over the last few years.  It seems that there is a steady increase in milk and cheese alternatives with 31.4% sales increase observed. Aside from plant-based cheeses, the market is also dominated by smaller categories of meat options like meatless jerky, mayonnaise and other types of condiments.

What Factors are Growing Plant-Based Food Sales?

So what are the factors boosting plant-based food products? One of the factors influencing sales was the bill introduced by Congress that imposed non-dairy alternatives to omit the milk, yogurt, and cheese on the label. The proper labeling has resulted in less confusion and the public embracing plant-based food choices.

But more than the proper labeling, the change was driven by health, animal, and environmental concerns. While there is still a significant number of people who eat a predominantly carnivorous diet, there is an increasing number of individuals who want to eat more plant-based foods.

The Market: Vegans, Vegetarians, and Flexitarians

This lifestyle movement has caught the attention of many leading food brands. They have incorporated plant-based products to cater to the needs of the growing population of vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians. Today, many food companies believe in the mantra that catering to the health of the customers is also essential to the health of the enterprise. But aside from people who have embraced the plant-based lifestyle, the plant-based food industry is also popular among people who follow certain strict diets such as the Paleo diet. Plant-based food products are catering to a broad spectrum of consumers.

This is the reason why companies like Daiya Foods, maker of non-dairy cheese substitutes like cheese and yogurt dominated the plant-based food industry. In fact, they sell their products in over 35,000 stores in the country and make more than $100 million in sales each year.

Many people are becoming more aware of the benefits of a plant-based diet, and they embrace it because it is not only good for the health but the environment too. Unlike other food trends, the plant-based diet will never go out of style. It is a significant shift in people’s lifestyle.

Plant-based food products are currently enjoying consumer acceptance. With the rise of the plant-based foods in the United States, consumers are finding healthier options and manufacturers are finding healthy profits.

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Big Food Looks to Startups for Innovation

With a push for innovation and new ideas, even food companies are looking to startups.  Recently, General Mills has backed startups for new ideas they can release to their loyal customers. But it is not only General Mills jumping onto this latest trend of looking to startups for new ideas.  In fact, companies like Coke and Kellogg’s have already partnered with their smaller competitors to stay on top of their game.

What’s Pushing the Trend?

With a large number of high-profile companies investing in smaller companies, it is no wonder why many players in the food industries are following suit. But why are companies investing in startups? There are many reasons why large enterprises venture into smaller companies. First off, big food can offer lower supply chain costs and increased sales channels that it takes years for startups to gain traction in.

Larger companies can introduce new products their loyal customers without spending directly on staffing as well as research and development. General Mills, for example, has invested in startups like the New York-based company, Tio Gazpacho, to develop products that appeal to both wellness and health.

Startups As Looming Competitors

With more customers looking for innovative goods and services, it cannot be denied that many startup companies are becoming very competitive these days. Startups are growing threats to bigger players in the food industry. For instance, Coca-Cola has faced problems in their sales as more people opt to drink healthier beverages than the infamous soda. This is the reason why it established its venturing arm to invest in products with billion-dollar potentials such as brands like Zico coconut water and Honest Tea. Instead of competing with their small, budding competitors, big food manufacturers would rather buy, invest, and work with them.

Startups Are Not Selling Out

Both small and big companies can benefit from such arrangement. While large enterprises get new ideas and even expand their client reach, smaller brands can get the funding that they need to develop their products and their sales channels.

But more than revenue and expanding their consumer base, there are other benefits to this kind of arrangement.  For instance, when General Mills invested in smaller startups, it also transformed its product lines towards clean, healthy and natural options. Going towards, cleaner, healthier and more natural products is something that startups have been dominating in the past few years. In fact, the sales of healthier products have grown to 11% during the first period of this year, and 7.9% of the food sales comes from organic foods. Large food and beverage companies have overlooked this trend in the past but are now trying to win back by investing in startup companies.

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Synthetic Vitamins: Necessary Or Waste Of Time?

Vitamins are taken by millions of people to treat different types of deficiencies. The Australian Medical Association found in a study that seven out of ten Australians take vitamins to fight against nutrient deficiencies. In fact, there are two reasons why people take supplemental multivitamins include overall wellness and to fill in any nutritional gaps. While there is a universal belief that vitamins and supplements are necessary, some experts disagree.

Synthetic Vitamins Found Not Necessary

One of the believers that intake of vitamins is a waste of time and money is the Adjunct Associate Professor Ken Harvey from Monash University. He noted that there is too little evidence that multivitamins are effective in treating deficiencies. He also added that if there is one thing that benefits from vitamins and supplements, it is the companies that manufacture them. The vitamin and supplement industry is a billion-dollar industry, and people seem to patronize them because they market health and wellness.

The thing is that the vitamin and supplement industry make huge profits from people, but there are no scientific studies that can prove the benefits of taking in vitamins and supplements. Sadly, you are pissing your money down the drain.

No Better Than Placebo Pills

There have been multiple studies that showcased vitamins are no better than placebo pills. But while many experts now agree that vitamins are not effective, intake of high doses can also cause harm.

There is such a thing as vitamin overdose. If you take too much of one supplement, it can offset how others work or interact with your body.  Several studies have noted that vitamins do not mix well. Perhaps what makes synthetic vitamins dangerous is that they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration unlike other types of medications. This makes them subject to abuse and overuse.

Food Against Nutrient Deficiency

GrandFusion+Fiber 12 vitamins from 12 fruits and vegetablesSo, if multivitamins are not useful, how can we prevent a nutrient deficiency? The answer lies in eating the right kinds of food. But if healthy food is accessible, then why are there so many people who suffer from nutrient deficiency? Unfortunately, many people have unhealthy diets even though they can easily get healthy foods. As a result, they turn to supplemental multivitamins.

Vitamin supplementation plays a vital role among Australian adults. In fact, 52% of adults rely on supplements. This 52% of the population are the ones who do not meet the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. NutriFusion developed the GrandFusion vitamin blends to help food companies add back the food based nutrition to a variety of products that we already eat. NutriFusion is launching a new product to market for end consumers that utilize the GrandFusion 12 fruit and vegetable blend to deliver 50% daily value of 12 vitamins. Visit the website to learn more:

If you follow a varied diet and are eating fruits and vegetables, then you should get all the vitamins from your food. The benefit of taking food to combat nutrient gap is that there is no overdosing from eating foods. Moreover, the food that you eat is processed by the body using natural pathways. Thus, every bit of the nutrients are accounted for and does not react with other nutrients in the body.

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The Transformative Food Trends of 2017

While we are still in the middle of the first quarter of the year, food analysts have already determined different food trends that will become popular throughout the rest of the year.

#1: Perfectly Imperfect Whole Foods

People used to be so obsessed with perfection when it comes to their food. They want their carrots to be free from blemishes, and their spinach must have uniformly sized leaves. Today, however, the perception of perfection has changed. To achieve perfect produce, they need to undergo a lot of agricultural treatments. For carrots to be blemish-free, they need to be sprayed with nematicide so that their roots can grow perfectly without being eaten by nematodes.

This year, many customers want imperfect whole foods. For them, foods with cleaner labels are more important than perfect produce. Customers prefer foods that are unadulterated and has undergone minimal processing.

#2: All Smart Everything

You have your smart appliances so expect to see all smart everything in the food scene this year. Multiple companies that manufacture kitchen appliances have developed smart devices to provide more convenience to users. For example, the company Flatev has made kitchen appliances that will allow you to make homemade tortillas or bread with just a few clicks of the finger.

#3: Plant-Based Movement

Another trend this year is the plant-based movement. Consumption of plant products is increasing this year as more people are becoming aware of the health and environmental benefits of eating a plant-based diet. In fact, many companies have jumped on the bandwagon of producing plant-based food. Almond milk, for instance, is a billion-dollar industry that is constantly increasing its revenue as more people are looking for dairy alternatives. Other companies have also created plant-based meats to meet the demands of people who prefer not to eat meat.

#4: Internet Retailing

Big retailers like Walmart, Safeway, and Kroger have typically expanded by building a larger store or opening more distribution all over the country—or the world. Building a business through traditional retail may still be popular today, but it is being replaced with internet retailing.

Today, most millennials prefer convenience, which is why online shopping is a very attractive option for buying things. In fact, we can buy anything on the internet. From ready-to-eat meals to groceries, you can simply purchase anything with just a few mouse clicks.

But aside from internet shopping, the use of technology is also implemented in brick and mortar stores. Amazon launched its Amazon Shop where people can shop for items without having the need to go through a checkout counter as their payments are already deducted through RFID.

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Mixed Reality: The Future For Food And Beverage Brands

Virtual reality and augmented reality have been two of the largest trends in technology over the past few years. Companies like Apple, LG, Samsung, and Microsoft are putting significant investments in mixed reality. They are even planning to make this technology available to the masses. However, it is not only tech giants that are looking into using augmented reality. In fact, food and beverage brands are eyeing mixed reality to improve the marketing of their products.

Brands Buy Into Mixed Reality

In the future, consumers will throw away their bulky devices for mixed reality glasses to do ordinary things like surf the internet, play games, and communicate with other people. Brands will have the opportunity to engage customers in the 3D world through packaging and point of sale displays. As a result, mixed reality technology will bridge the gap between digital and physical shopping.

In an even distant future, food manufacturers can use mixed reality to manage their inventory through eye sensors and spatial mapping. While there is still a long way for food manufacturers to go before they can fully benefit from mixed reality, some companies have already adopted the digital campaign.

Coca-Cola, for example, has offered 3D gaming to encourage more people to buy their products. Another company, Hellman, has also launched 3D recipe tutorials provided by celebrity chefs. In the future, retail industry giants will create an augmented-reality store where customers can see a digital image of the store and order their products online.


The Future of MR, AR, and VR for Big Brands

Many believe this technology will become mainstream in the future. Opportunities for many food and beverage brands to market their products will create an automatic analysis of the market. The challenge that manufacturers are now facing is how to index billions–even trillions–of data points to market to the right audience.

A new feature of mixed reality technology is eye tracking. Multiple tech companies have invested in this feature as it allows them to track where customers are focused. Eye tracking is an additional way to improve the analytics of the business. This feature is also used to improve machine learning over time.

Developers are also looking to integrate the internet of things (IoT) with mixed reality. This means that if you look at your fridge, for example, through the mixed reality glasses, it will generate information about your inventory and nearby grocery stores. This natural feature provides an emotional connection with the technology.

With mixed reality technology, everything will become real estate regarding brand marketing, and it will provide a better shopping experience to customers. The technology already exists and what food and beverage companies need to do is to improve the platform.

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Costco Is Focusing on Its Online Store to Improve Revenues

Costco, an iconic membership-only warehouse club, is known for selling products for a lower price through scale. In fact, it is considered the top retailer of organic foods, prime meats, and wine in the world as it has branches in multiple countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

The company was the first to reach $3 billion in sales within six years. That remarkable growth has made them somewhat of a cult retailer. However, recently, the company delivered negative earnings of 1.7% in the first quarter of 2017, which means the company totally missed the expectations of Wall Street in terms of growth. Analysts have adjusted its earnings to $1.19 since it fell short of what was expected. Aside from the stock prices, the company only logged in a net sales of $27.47 billion last year, which fell short of the expected $28.38 billion.

Reasons for The Shortfall

Costco’s CFO Richard Galanti noted that the shortfall of revenue is attributed to low profits from gas sales and deflationary prices of their goods. The effects of volatile gas prices, as well as the foreign exchange rate, have affected the total revenue of the company. Costco is looking for other solutions to solve its financial setbacks. The company has recently switched from American Express to Citigroup Visa as its co-branded card since the latter credit card company offers lower merchant fees and higher rewards for their members.

Online Store to Boost Its Sales

Aside from changing its co-branding, Costco is also looking into improving its online retail store to improve the shopping experience for its customers. They are developing the marketing, search, return process, and tracking of orders. The store also considers increasing the number of depots by making them closer to customers so that they can deliver faster with less expense on shipping.

The company has also partnered with different delivery service companies like Google Express and Instacart particularly for customers located in the Bay Area so that they can get their purchases immediately.

While some critics say that the giant retail company might be shifting more towards online retail, the company still wants to encourage its consumers to go to their warehouse stores.  After all, they became well-known for their warehouse to begin with. The thing is that warehouse stores will never be replaced by online stores. In fact, Costco is just using the online platform to encourage people to visit its stores as the company noticed that loyal members bought less if they shop online compared to when they go to the actual store.

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