The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by health and wellness, convenience, and the growing importance of plant-based/alternative proteins, food safety and transparency, and personalised nutrition. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Consumer: Dairy protein modification.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

40+ innovations will shape the consumer industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 110,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, hydrogel dressings, dextrin-based compositions, and safety injection needles are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Wet wipes dispenser, carbon fibre sports equipment, and cigarette rod making device are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are portable toothbrush cases and anabolic muscle supplements, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry

Dairy protein modification is a key innovation area in consumer

In order to improve the functional properties of food proteins, various modifications such as foaming, solubility, and emulsifying activity (EA) are required. This helps the food proteins to be effectively used in food systems. Various reactions, such as phosphorylation, acylation, esterification, limited hydrolysis, glycation, and deamidation are used to improve the functional properties of dairy proteins.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of dairy protein modification.

Key players in dairy protein modification – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry

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‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to dairy protein modification

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nestle 300 Unlock company profile
Danone 214 Unlock company profile
Megmilk Snow Brand 213 Unlock company profile
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc 137 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 73 Unlock company profile
Arla Foods amba 29 Unlock company profile
Meiji Holdings 29 Unlock company profile
a2 Milk 28 Unlock company profile
Morinaga Milk Industry 25 Unlock company profile
Nuritas 20 Unlock company profile
Gelita 17 Unlock company profile
Dairy Australia 17 Unlock company profile
Kirin Holdings 16 Unlock company profile
Amazentis 14 Unlock company profile
Hero 14 Unlock company profile
ByHeart 13 Unlock company profile
Pharma Foods International 13 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 12 Unlock company profile
Newtricious 11 Unlock company profile
Kerry Group plc 11 Unlock company profile
Safran 11 Unlock company profile
Asahi Group Holdings 11 Unlock company profile
Kraft Heinz 11 Unlock company profile
Firmenich International 10 Unlock company profile
New Image Group 10 Unlock company profile
Gelatines Weishardt 10 Unlock company profile
Murray Goulburn Co-operative 10 Unlock company profile
Symrise 9 Unlock company profile
Nisshin Seifun Group 8 Unlock company profile
Zuivelcooperatie FrieslandCampina UA 8 Unlock company profile
Humana Milchunion eG 8 Unlock company profile
Halo Food 8 Unlock company profile
Globus Egg Sciences 7 Unlock company profile
Raisio plc 7 Unlock company profile
Marubeni 7 Unlock company profile
sanaFactur 6 Unlock company profile
Darling Ingredients 6 Unlock company profile
Valio 6 Unlock company profile
European Ketogenic Weight Loss Clinics 6 Unlock company profile
Avanidea 6 Unlock company profile
Laimu 5 Unlock company profile
CEA 5 Unlock company profile
Maruha Nichiro 5 Unlock company profile
Vegenat 5 Unlock company profile
Advitech 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nestle is one of the leading patent filers in dairy protein modification. Some other key patent filers in the space are Danone, Megmilk Snow Brand, and Reckitt Benckiser Group.

In terms of application diversity, Valio leads the pack, while Avanidea and Gelatines Weishardt stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Nuritas held the top position, followed by Arla Foods amba and The Kraft Heinz.

Dairy protein modification will potentially gain greater importance and greater market share with more number of manufacturers introducing new products.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.