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.
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
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.