Arla decided to further explore the protein drink market because it saw a whitespace for new small, 100ml shot-size innovations. With the popularity of protein-laden RTD beverages, Arla wanted to ‘tap into that segment’.
Anne Louise Friis, sales development manager at Arla, told DairyReporter that while other protein shot products exists, their concept is the only one that uses solely whey protein. Others use a mix of whey and collagen as their protein source because collagen has a more neutral taste and is easier to incorporate into beverages.
The Arla Protein Extreme uses a base of orange juice and ginger to balance out the bitterness of the whey. Each 100ml shot is low-calorie and contains 20g of protein.
“As our new concept demonstrates, it is possible to get a huge amount of high-quality whey protein into a small shot. There is currently a gap in the market for a protein shot made exclusively with whey, so this is a great opportunity for differentiation,” Friis said.
“Manufacturers who take advantage of it will be able to create ready-to-drink products that stand out from the competition and appeal to people on-the-go, as well as athletes.”
Consumers are drawn to convenience, and Arla believes the small size will be a hit with the health and wellness community looking for easy protein vehicles. The liquid shots eliminate the need for protein powder and the mixing, shaking and mess that come with it.
“Developed to meet the needs of athletes and gym-goers, it helps speed up muscle recovery after exercise due to its superior amino acid composition and fast absorption rate. It is also pH-flexible, allowing a range of application options, and UHT-stable, allowing easy production on a standard UHT line,” Arla said.
Arla reported that it’s already working with beverage manufacturers on building out the concept and expects it to integrate well into the protein drink market.