DENMARK – Arla Foods, a Danish-Swedish food ingredients multinational cooperative, has launched a new high-protein iced tea to meet the rising demand for healthier drinks among consumers globally.

According to Arla, functional, refreshing beverages like high-protein iced tea have significant market potential.

The Denmark-based dairy ingredient supplier reports that the market for functional and fortified beverages in the US alone is projected to be worth US$819 million by 2024.

Demand according to arla, is spurred by consumers who prefer beverages that go beyond quenching their thirst and offer nutritional benefits.

To meet this demand, both sports and mainstream brands are seeking to create new functional beverage products and Arla is no exception.

The company’s new high-protein iced tea is an improvement of the standard iced tea which has long been popular as a healthy beverage due to its antioxidant properties.

Arla says that it is boosting its nutritional value of the Iced Tea by adding whey protein isolate into the mix.

“Demand for innovative functional beverages is huge and high-protein iced tea is the perfect way to tap into it.” said Ulrik Bank Pedersen, General Manager, North America, at Arla Foods Ingredients.

Urik further noted that the reason why tea and protein are perfect partners is that they both offer well recognized health benefits.

Studies by Innova Market Insights show that functional and fortified beverages such as Arla’s Iced Tea are no longer a preserve of active consumers.

More mainstream consumers are also developing a liking for these products.

For this reason, both sports and mainstream brands are extending their product portfolios into healthy lifestyle products for a broad consumer base.

In the iced tea segment, Innova Market Insights reports that there is a strong preference for products that are natural and sugar-free.

Arla is not a new player in this field, having launched the Lacprodan ISO.Water, a 100 percent whey protein isolate ingredient, designed specifically for the clear protein beverage space. 

The WPI (Whey Protein Isolate) ingredient is touted by the company for being the first on the market without the taste of protein, thus making it ideal for use in many food preparations.

By offering high-protein iced teas, manufacturers can thus put a new spin on an established consumer favorite while at the same time addressing the need for healthier drink options.

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