The data, from specialist data and insights provider, Nutrition Integrated, reveals that the number of clear protein powder products available across Europe has increased by 159% since January 2022.
Nick Morgan, Managing Director of Nutrition Integrated, explains: “The data highlights an emerging segment that we expect to see continue to grow during the coming year as it presents a huge opportunity for brands to diversify their offering and reach a larger consumer base.”
Clear protein powders offer similar nutritional profiles to traditional powders, but advancements in protein technology enable brands to create a more refreshing taste and texture similar to water or juice, rather than milk.
The growth is currently being fuelled by a relatively small number of brands – just 8% of the total number of brands that sell a protein powder – with the majority of products (76%) using a whey protein formulation. Currently, only a quarter (24%) are plant-based.
Amazon sales data shows that, in the UK alone, consumer purchases of clear protein powders increased by 216% in 2023 compared with 2022.
Nick Morgan continues: “Historically, the flavour, texture and positioning of protein shakes have alienated the mainstream consumer as products are targeted towards serious gym-goers looking for specific product performance."
“However, clear protein powders are giving brands a way to tap into growing consumer demand for products that offer additional health benefits. By creating protein versions of everyday products such as juice and water, they can catch the attention of a new audience."
“In the same way that protein bars have moved into the mainstream, we expect to see clear protein powders become increasingly popular as brands look to make the most of this emerging market.”
MyProtein offers the widest range of clear protein powders on the market. Paul Smith-Johnson, Head of Innovation at MyProtein, says: “Our Clear Protein category has experienced remarkable growth, driven by its exceptional palatability and functionality.
“The light and refreshing nature of clear whey provides a unique consumption experience that appeals broadly, particularly to those that have grown tired of traditional textures and flavour profiles."
"We expect clear whey to continue its growth as it solidifies its position globally within the sports nutrition market and more manufacturers start to focus on this offering.”