Soy and whey protein will always have a place in the market.

Don’t dismiss the mainstays

While new varieties of plant-based protein receive a significant amount of attention, the more traditional varieties should not be forgotten.

“Soy will always have a place in the market,” Ties said. “A key thing that comes up when talking about vegetable protein is price. It plays a critical role in the market. I don’t think we have fully identified a vegetable protein that can replace all of the benefits soy brings. Proteins like soy and whey have been around a long time and experienced a lot of growth and optimization.”

Plant-based items from smaller niche brands tend to be premium priced.
Price was an issue raised by Nielsen.

“Some of these plant-based items from smaller niche brands are premium priced and premium looking,” she said. “Plant-based yogurts, I would wager, are more expensive than a mainstream yogurt. Because we are in a strong economic place and because millennials and others are choosing for lifestyle reasons, consumers are in a place where they want to buy these products.”