‘Think outside the shake’: Protein Pow takes protein home baking to supermarket shelves
The company, founded in 2011, has launched in UK supermarket Tesco’s NutriCentre, Bodybuilding.com, Ocado, Tropicana Wholesale, Marigold Wholesale, Cdon group’s Gymgrossisten AB Sweden as well as other online and independent retail stores in Europe.
It said it was also exploring the possibility of local manufacturing in the US.
The 450 g packs of All-Purpose Pea Protein Cooking Mix are backed with recipes for vegan protein truffles and protein bars while the All Purpose Whey Protein Cooking Mix packs are backed with recipes for protein bars and pancakes.
Three more protein cooking mixes are set to be launched by the end of 2016.
The company also has a cookbook, which urges people to “think outside the shake”, and an app with around 140 recipes.
Protein Pow founder and director Dr Anna Sward said she had chosen to market all-purpose mixes as opposed to ready-made products like bars because she wanted to teach people how to incorporate healthy ingredients into their everyday diets.
Social media and word of mouth has always been key for the company, which prides itself on having a low advertising budget.
"Again, that’s why we decided to launch with interactive cooking mixes: because we wanted to leverage that energy, excitement, and creativity. Instead of, say, launching a bar which people just buy, eat, and throw the wrapper away – end of story."
Across the pond
The company began as a blog about exercise, food and nutrition when Sward was completing her PhD in humanities.
She said the readership in the US was still strong, and the cookbook continued to sell well in bookstores there too. This was part of the motivation for the company’s transatlantic ambitions.
“We feel that what we have has a unique edge so going into the protein market in the US isn’t something we want to do, it’s something we will do and are already looking into for next year,” she told us.
According to Euromonitor International global protein supplement retail sales were worth £1,469.3m (€2089.47m) in 2014 of which £311.2m (€443m) came from the US and £16m (€22.76m) came from Europe.
Within Europe, the UK made up £11.6m (€16.5m) of sales.
Are you invited to the protein party?
The company has been using ‘protein parties’ to launch the products in NutriCentre, Tesco's supplement section and standalone shops.
At the events shoppers could see the recipe suggestions made on the spot.
"This highlights how easy and quick it is to make one’s own healthy foods," Sward said.
"The point has always been to inspire people to get inventive, inspired and motivated to make their own fresh foods and eat better. That’s what our parties are really about."