“PROTEIN” is the buzzword being used to sell many kinds of foods in the US at the moment, reported The Wall Street Journal in March. Food companies are placing more prominent protein labels on packaging and adding protein to such products as drinks, bars and cereals.
“It’s one of those rare things that has a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people and they are all positive,” said Barry Calpino, vice president of breakthrough innovation for Kraft Foods Group Inc., sellers of products from Velveeta to Planters Nuts.
A mother believes food with protein will give her child energy before soccer practice and help her lose weight by making her feel full, according to consumer research from several large food companies including Kraft, Kellogg Co. and General Mills. An office worker sees an energizing snack that is better than candy at 4 pm. A weight lifter sees a way to build muscle. They all see it as healthy.
The article explains that labels with the word “protein” have a “health halo effect” that goes beyond the promise of protein, giving people the impression the product will make them feel more full or give them more energy, but seems to go against actual health research. Such trends in food labelling tend to come and go with the latest health headlines, said the article.