The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by amplified health awareness, guided nutrition, and wellbeing and growing importance of technologies such as fortified whey compositions, personalized nutrition, and alternative proteins. 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: protein-fortified beverages. 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
Protein-fortified beverages is a key innovation area in consumer
Protein-fortified beverages are drinks to which proteins are deliberately added by manufacturers. Consumers choose such beverages to minimize their protein deficiency. For busy consumers, who often lack time for meals, the consumption of protein-fortified beverages is a suitable way to meet their daily protein needs on the go. These beverages help athletes and fitness enthusiasts in muscle recovery. Whey and soy are the two most popular proteins used in beverages.
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 protein-fortified beverages.
Key players in protein-fortified beverages – 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 protein-fortified beverages
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
The leading companies in the protein-fortified beverages space in terms of patents filed are Givaudan, Koninklijke Philips, DuPont de Nemours, Otsuka, and Raisiol. In July 2023, Givaudan enhanced its capabilities at its protein hub at its Zurich innovation center located in Kemptthal, Switzerland. The company aims to support the product development of milk alternatives.
By means of geographic reach J.M. Huber leads the pack, followed by Guangdong Xinbao Electrical Appliances and Chr. Hansen.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.