The Protein Push Through the Eyes of a Healthy Snacker

The following post is written by Signal Theory FoodThink team member Brock Campbell.DrZaksBread

Protein claims are everywhere. Just look around. You’ll see these claims on expected products like whey powder and energy bars. But how about Baby Ruth candy bars (2g protein)? Or Philadelphia Cream Cheese (2x protein of regular cream cheese)?

Look a little further and you’ll find high-protein bread. Yes, high-protein bread from Dr. Zak. Make it a part of your everyday diet and you too might look like Dr. Zak.

While I don’t dream of looking like Dr. Zak, I do look for protein in my snack choices. Why snacks? Because sometimes it’s difficult for me to get enough protein in my diet. I’m on the run and don’t always have time for a full meal with meat at the center of the plate. So I try to make up for some of that with high-protein snacks.

My morning snack is a Pure Protein bar. It has 20 grams of protein, 2 grams of sugar and 200 calories.

So what’s that tell you about me? It tells you I’m a Healthy Snacker, one of five snacker segments recently identify by Signal Theory FoodThink research.


So how can marketers best relate to a protein-conscious Healthy Snacker like me?

Tout protein: Don’t assume consumers know a product is high in protein. It seems obvious in some cases such as meat or beans. But do consumers inherently understand that cheese is high in protein? How about fish? Don’t assume.

Take protein claims deeper: To reach the hardcore protein audience, go a little deeper on protein counts. Consider leveling the playing field by displaying protein count per 100 grams, for example. Or show a protein-to-calorie ratio.

Make it organic: I also care about the purity of my food. I may not choose organic in every instance, but I do eat organic more often than most other consumer groups.

Don’t sacrifice protein for taste: Your product can’t taste bad, but I’ll accept slightly less taste in a product if it’s higher in protein. Or perhaps more appropriately stated, I won’t choose a snack bar unless it’s high in protein. Otherwise, I might as well eat a candy bar, right?

And if I don’t have time for lunch, I’ll grab a MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal. It’s packed with 30 grams of protein and 410 calories. That ventures to the blurring lines of snack and meal. But that’s a topic for later.

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