Sport is a rising trend in Israel and is fast becoming a significant part of many consumers' lives. The number of consumers who engage in sports rises every year, with more subscriptions to gyms, sports groups and sports events. Marathons are a prominent example of this – new marathons are launched every year, and participation in every marathon rises steadily.
With this opportunity for growth, dairy companies have begun offering products targeted at the sports community, starting with protein-enriched yoghurt Danone Pro launched by Strauss Group in 2016. Until then, protein-enriched products were found mostly in stores offering specialized products for sports; with this launch, protein-enriched yoghurt could be found in most grocery stores, making it far more accessible. In 2018 Tara Dairy also launched protein-enriched milk, expanding the variety of products available in grocery stores.
Most consumers would not go especially to sports stores to purchase such products as their awareness of protein consumption is not high enough. However, when the yoghurt became available in stores, accompanied by a marketing campaign that promoted its consumption after engaging in sports, it encouraged many consumers to begin tracking their protein consumption – which is made easier when packaged with clearly labelled amounts of protein. The fast growth in the protein-enriched category enabled introduction of a variety of other products, such as milk drinks, fruit yoghurt, sugar-free and fat-free yoghurt and a family-sized package as well.
During the next few years this category is likely to continue growing dramatically, as companies are already expanding their protein-enriched product variety beyond dairy products, too. Protein-filled cereal and snack bars are the obvious development, but similar innovation is already seen in other categories too, such as meat substitutes. In future we expect to see protein-enriched products also in cereals, bread and bread substitutes, non-alcoholic drinks and cheeses, and perhaps even more categories.