photo of seafood, meat and dairy products
Meat, eggs and dairy topped North Americans' list of protein sources, according to The Nielsen Co. Click to view full infographic.
Protein content claims continue to influence retail food purchases as well as dining orders in establishments that list nutrition information. The Nielsen Co. conducted research in early 2017 using its US Homescan network and its Canada Panelviews database to better understand what consumers’ preferences are when it comes to protein selection.

Both Americans and Canadians identified meat, eggs and dairy as their top-three protein sources, with seafood and legumes/nuts/seeds falling to fourth and fifth place, respectively.

The Nielsen survey also found that 20 percent of Canadians plan to eat more legumes, nuts and seeds (compared with 15 percent of Americans), while 78 percent of Canadians plan to eat the same amount of meat (compared with 53 percent of Americans). On the other hand, 22 percent of Americans plan to eat less meat, compared with only 15 percent of Canadians.

Therefore, it is so important for meat and poultry processors and marketers to keep animal protein relevant through innovation. Manufacturers whose products contain protein should continue to invest in marketing that puts protein claims front-and-center on packaging labels.

See the results of The Nielsen Co. research into consumers' protein preferences.