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  • Last update : 06/07/2023
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Summary and extracts

1 Synthèse du marché

1.1 Introduction

Protein products are foods or supplements that provide a concentrated source of protein, an essential nutrient for the growth, maintenance and restoration of tissues in the human body. Various offerings and types of products can be found in the protein products market in Italy, including:

  • Protein supplements: tablets, powders or drinks containing protein in concentrated, isolated or hydrolyzed form, used to supplement daily protein intake.
  • Proteinbars: protein-rich snacks, often used as meal replacements or post-workout snacks.
  • Plant-based protein foods: plant-based protein products, such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, legumes, and grains, that provide a source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Functional protein products: products fortified with protein and other ingredients, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants, to provide additional health benefits.

The protein products market in Italy is experiencing significant growth, with increasing demand and a wide variety of products available. Protein foods are increasingly popular and are changing the profile of the average diet in the country. This market includes both foods with protein ingredients of animal (e.g., egg protein, milk protein, insect protein), and plant (e.g., legume protein and cereals) origin, offering options for different preferences and dietary needs. According to data from the Nielsen GS1 Imagine Observatory, demand for protein foods is growing, with a wide variety of products marketed as protein sources. New trends have also emerged, such as increased sales of foreign-sourced protein foods and plant-based protein products.[TheJournalFood]

In supermarkets, more than 2,600 references highlight their richness in protein and generate sales of more than 1.2 billion euros, an increase of 8.4 percent in one year. Protein products are no longer limited to classic bars for fitness freaks, but include ready meals, dried fruit snacks, yogurt, vegetable drinks, porridge and even pasta.[TheSole24Ore]

It must be remembered that foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products are naturally rich in protein; however, this study will focus on foods of animal or plant origin whose high protein content, whether natural or from enrichment, is listed on the label to promote their sale. For information on other naturally protein-rich foods, please refer to the specific studies available in the Businesscoot catalog.

1.2 A growing global market

The global protein ingredients market was estimated at $**.** billion in **** and is expected to reach $***.* billion by ****, with a CAGR of *.*% from **** to ****. Market growth will be driven by increased consumer awareness and interest about healthy and nutritious human foods. Another factor is the increased demand for plant proteins, such as ...

1.3 Italian healthy food and beverage market on the rise

To analyze the protein products market, one should first look at the larger healthy food and beverage market. The latter after the initial lockdown due to the covid-** pandemic, has recovered thanks in part to the boost given by the resumption of outdoor sports activities. The end of lockdowns has therefore ...

1.4 A trade balance for surplus protein

The following graphs show the evolution of imports and exports of:

Protein; concentrates and textured protein substances.

The graph below shows that from **** to ****, the value of exports changed. In ****, exports exceeded the dollar value of imports, albeit by a small amount. Also, in that year, both exports and imports contracted ...

2 Analyse de la demande

2.1 Demographic characteristics of consumers

The demand for protein products in Italy can be influenced by various demographic characteristics of the population. Some demographic factors that may play a role in the demand for protein products are listed below.


Dietary preferences may vary with age. For example, younger people may be more inclined to follow ...

2.2 Determinants of demand

Demand for alternative protein foods

Italians are now aware that animal protein, derived mainly from red meat, can present significant personal health risks in the long term if consumed in excess.

In recent years, the plant-based food market has seen a significant increase in demand due to consumer food preferences. Consumers' ...

3 Structure du marché

3.1 Market structure

The protein products market, to facilitate its analysis, can be segmented by protein source (***) and by market sector or end user. Its development stems, as seen above, from the fact that Italians are looking for alternative foods to meat that provide a high protein intake. Moreover, the idea of consuming a ...

3.2 The legal form of companies

The data in the graph represent the shares of enterprises producing homogenized preparations and diet foods broken down by legal form. Out of a total of *** enterprises in ****, the limited liability company is the legal form with the highest share at **.* percent, accounting for *** companies. Limited liability companies (***) are characterized by ...

3.3 Distribution channels

Protein and protein-rich products in Italy are distributed through a variety of channels to reach consumers. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are the most popular and accessible distribution channels for protein products, with a wide range of foods, including protein products such as meat, fish, dairy, legumes, cereals, and protein snacks. They can ...

3.4 Potential obstacles

Some analyses state to be careful, from many points of view, because:

The intake of protein foods should be regulated by consumers according to the type of diet they choose and not in an unregulated manner. Protein intake, for example, is recommended if a high-protein diet is chosen because one is ...

4 Analyse de l'offre

4.1 Supply analysis

The different protein sources available are as diverse as the variety of people who require these protein products. Of course, each type of product offers different benefits. Whey protein, for example, is a key source of protein for protein products aimed at body building and gym exercise. It is one of ...

4.2 The prices

High-protein products cost more than their conventional counterparts. According to Gfk data, they cost more than * euros, without any kind of difference between discount stores and mid- to high-end supermarkets. this is how * million Italian families spend ** euros a year on products with a higher protein intake, such as desserts, yogurt ...

4.3 Supply trends in the food industry

The year of plant-based products

The data presented below concerns the outlook of managers in the food and beverage industry in Italy regarding the foods/meals that will be most trending. interestingly, plant-based food comes out on top with ** percent of managers' responses. This indicates a high regard for plant-based diets ...

5 Règlementation

5.1 Current regulations

In Italy, the protein food market is governed by several laws and regulations that deal with food safety, labeling, hygiene and health standards, and proper business practices. Below are some of the main laws and regulations that affect the protein food market.


Self-Regulatory Code of Food Advertising (***) regulates the advertising ...

6 Positionnement des acteurs

6.1 Segmentation

Source: ****

  • Enervit
  • Danone Groupe
  • Granarolo
  • Decathlon Italie
  • Carrefour Italia
  • Nestlé Italia
  • Nutramis - Vitaminstore

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Latest news

Danone opens a second plant for plant-based products in France - 12/02/2024
  • Danone inaugurates a new plant dedicated to the manufacture of dairy alternatives in France
  • Danone has completely converted its Villecomtal-sur-Arros yogurt plant in the Gers department into a unit dedicated to Alpro-brand plant-based beverages. 43 million euros of investment
  • Production, mainly of oat juice cartons, is 90% destined for Europe.
  • Danone now has four milk-alternative production units in Europe. Two in France, at Issenheim and Villecomtal in the Gers region, one in Sweden, at Lunnarp, and the fourth at Wevelgem in Belgium.
  • Vegetable-based products have become "a strategic focus" for the world's number one in ultra-fresh products.
  • Danone took the t turn in 2017 with the $12.5 billion acquisition of US group WhiteWave.
  • In France, ultra-fresh products are deeply rooted in diets.
  • Plant milk accounts for just 4% of the traditional dairy products market by volume and 7.4% by value.
  • The plant-based milk market is worth 165 million euros, according to FranceAgriMer.
  • More than 6 out of ten people in France in the 18-24 age bracket eat plant-based products several times a week, according to lDanone
  • Many dairy groups, including Triballat, Nestlé and Bel, have chosen to develop plant-based ranges.
  • Retail chains are present under their own brands (MDD).
Danone sells its US organic dairy business to Platinum Equity - 02/01/2024
  • Danone has signed an agreement to sell its US organic dairy business to Platinum Equity.
  • The sale concerns the Horizon Organic and Wallaby businesses.
  • By 2022, Horizon Organic and Wallaby represented around 3% of Danone's total sales.
Danone finds buyers for its two organic brands in the United States - 02/01/2024
  • Platinum Equity's portfolio of assets totals $47 billion.
  • The two brands Horizon Organic and Wallaby accounted for around 3% of Danone's sales in 2022, or $800 million.
  • Dairy products make up a large part of Danone's sales.
  • Danone has sold various parts of its business in different countries, including yoghurts in China and fresh dairy products in Brazil.
  • Danone recorded eight quarters of growth thanks to price increases, although volumes remained stable.
  • Danone succeeded in halting a steady decline in dairy sales that had lasted since 2015.
Danone, Antoine de Saint-Affrique's silent revolution - 26/09/2023
  • Investment of 50 million euros in medical nutrition plant in Opole, Poland.
  • Danone sales of 27.7 billion euros.
  • Sales growth from 2.5% to 3% on average per year (before Covid) to 7% to 8% by mid-2023.
  • Groupe Danone employs around 100,000 people.
  • Disposal of certain non-strategic activities (Vega, Horizon Organic and Wallaby in North America, Aqua d'Or waters in Denmark, etc.).
Danone: Efforts Rewarded - 26/07/2023
  • Danone's net income for the first half of fiscal 2023 jumped 48% to over €1 billion.
  • In Spain, Danone reduced the number of brands from 13 to 5.
  • Danone's operations in Russia were expropriated by the Kremlin in July 2023
  • The group had estimated losses linked to the departure from Russia at 1 billion euros.
  • 15% volume-driven growth for Mizone water in China.
  • Counter-performance: plant-based products in North America
Danone, collateral victim of Vladimir Putin's new hard line - 17/07/2023
  • Two major European groups, Danone and Carlsberg, were engaged in discussions to sell their Russian operations.
  • They were surprised by a Russian presidential decree that transferred most of their Russian assets to the state agency, Rosimushestvo
  • Danone had planned to sell 12 of its dairy and plant-based products plants in Russia, while retaining a plant dedicated to infant nutrition.
  • President Putin issued decrees earlier that tightened national control over Western assets sold in Russia, including eliminating foreign shareholders from buyers.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Danone Groupe
Decathlon Italie
Carrefour Italia
Nestlé Italia
Nutramis - Vitaminstore

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The market of protein products | Italy

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