The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by health and wellness, taste, convenience, as well as the growing importance of technologies such as digital food management, personalized nutrition, and food safety and transparency. In the last three years alone, there have been over 662,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in consumer: fortified whey compositions. Buy the report here.

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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 stabilizing 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.

30+ 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 116,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, microencapsulated proteins, plant based cheese substitutes, and texturized vegetable proteins are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Botulinum toxin, beverage pods, and filled confectionary manufacturing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are anabolic muscle supplements and protein-fortified beverages, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry

Fortified whey compositions is a key innovation area in consumer

Whey compositions contain minerals including iron and magnesium, and vitamins such as vitamin C that help in imparting anti-inflammatory properties and muscle mass building.

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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of fortified whey compositions.

Key players in fortified whey compositions – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to fortified whey compositions

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Arla Foods amba 212 Unlock Company Profile
Nestle 208 Unlock Company Profile
Valio 101 Unlock Company Profile
Danone 97 Unlock Company Profile
Kemin Industries 91 Unlock Company Profile
Fonterra Co-operative Group 73 Unlock Company Profile
a2 Milk 62 Unlock Company Profile
Megmilk Snow Brand 61 Unlock Company Profile
Reckitt Benckiser Group 49 Unlock Company Profile
Impossible Foods 37 Unlock Company Profile
Royal FrieslandCampina 29 Unlock Company Profile
Cargill 25 Unlock Company Profile
Select Milk Producers 21 Unlock Company Profile
Glanbia 21 Unlock Company Profile
Upfront Chromatography 19 Unlock Company Profile
Wilmar International 18 Unlock Company Profile
Lyopharm 17 Unlock Company Profile
Dairy Australia 17 Unlock Company Profile
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group 15 Unlock Company Profile
Fresenius 15 Unlock Company Profile
Leprino Foods 15 Unlock Company Profile
Protix Biosystems 14 Unlock Company Profile
Murray Goulburn Co-operative 14 Unlock Company Profile
Anabio Technologies 13 Unlock Company Profile
Perfect Day 12 Unlock Company Profile
Washington H Soul Pattinson 12 Unlock Company Profile
Tereos 11 Unlock Company Profile
Valneva 9 Unlock Company Profile
Amano Enzyme 9 Unlock Company Profile
COFCO 9 Unlock Company Profile
Unternehmensgruppe Theo Muller 8 Unlock Company Profile
Saputo 8 Unlock Company Profile
EKF Diagnostics 8 Unlock Company Profile
The Hershey 8 Unlock Company Profile
Morinaga Milk Industry 8 Unlock Company Profile
Savencia 8 Unlock Company Profile
SiS (Science in Sport) 7 Unlock Company Profile
Bright Dairy & Food 7 Unlock Company Profile
Buhler 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kellogg 7 Unlock Company Profile
Symrise 6 Unlock Company Profile
CJ 6 Unlock Company Profile
DMK Deutsches Milchkontor 6 Unlock Company Profile
Advitech 5 Unlock Company Profile
KB Biomed 5 Unlock Company Profile
Dairy Management 5 Unlock Company Profile
Molkerei Alois Müller 4 Unlock Company Profile
China Feihe 4 Unlock Company Profile
JBS 3 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Sanyuan Foods 3 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nestle is the leading patent filer in the fortified whey compositions space. Some other key patent filers include Arla Foods amba, Valio, and Danone, and Valio. Recently, Arla entered a partnership with First Milk in November 2022. Under the new partnership, First Milk will produce specialist whey protein powder for Arla Foods.

In terms of application diversity, Saputo leads the pack, with Valneva and Morinaga Milk Industry in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Impossible Foods holds the top position, followed by Kemin Industries and Select Milk Producers.

Fortified whey compositions will become an important aspect in the consumer industry, as the health and wellness trend gains further foothold.

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

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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.