These consumers have different requirements depending on age and lifestyle, but something they have in common is the desire for high quality natural ingredients, says the company.
Women are also aware of the specific benefits they want from their food, and are becoming ‘more switched-on’ when it comes to knowing which proteins deliver.
2016: a greater focus on protein differentiation
Arla Foods Ingredients presented natural whey protein solutions targeted at women at FiE in Paris this month. The company caters for a range of F&B categories, including beverages, sports nutrition, bakery, dairy and infant nutrition.
Lars Vestergaard Nielsen, marketing communication manager, told this publication that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach for targeting female consumers.
“It’s important to consider life stages and lifestyles, and the requirements of women vary according to their age and the activities they engage in,” he said.
“At certain times in their life, for example, women may be more interested in sports nutrition, maternal nutrition, weight management, healthy snacking that fits into their working day, and healthy ageing.”
For Arla Foods Ingredients this has meant developing tailored ingredients for specific groups. As an example, recent developments include a maternal nutrition solution, which contains three of its natural milk ingredients for the woman and developing baby. These are Lacprodan whey protein, Capolac minerals, Lacprodan PL-20 milk phospholipids (a phospholipid-rich concentrate of milk proteins containing gangliosides, which supports early brain development).
Meanwhile, protein-rich concepts have been designed for seniors to combat sarcopenia (the loss of muscle mass and strength), which is a growing concern for an aging population
“However, despite the differences in the needs among female consumers, the common denominator across the board is that women are looking for high quality natural ingredients with distinct benefits,” said Vestergaard Nielsen.
“Until now, most of the talk has been about ‘protein’ but in 2016 we expect to see a much greater focus on differentiation– both by brands and shoppers.
"Female consumers will start to understand better the differences in protein quality. They will be more switched-on in terms of knowing which proteins really deliver benefits, and those that don’t.”
Women: the next big opportunity
It is predicted that women will control 72% of global consumer spending by 2028, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
In addition, Nielsen research shows that 75% of women say they examine product labels carefully, and many believe they have specific needs that are likely to motivate them to buy products with associated benefits.
“Taking all of these factors together, it’s our view that women now represent the next big market opportunity for food and beverage companies. Whey protein is the perfect ingredient to create products for women,” said Vestergaard Nielsen.
“It offers excellent versatility in terms of its naturalness, health benefits and ease of use in manufacturing processes. It also offers the benefit of a high level of recognition among female consumers and a neutral taste that ensures it will not impair flavour in food and beverage applications.”