SOURCE: Solae

April 28, 2008 16:07 ET

Solae Study Reveals Breakfast Opportunities for Protein-Enhanced Foods

ST LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - April 28, 2008) - For food companies looking to capitalize on the ever-growing and ever-changing breakfast segment, research commissioned by Solae -- a marketer of high-quality, soy-based protein ingredients -- may reveal the next big product in the lucrative $60 billion-plus breakfast market.

In December 2007, Solae commissioned an in-depth qualitative and quantitative survey involving 1,000 consumers who ate breakfast at least three times per week. The goals of the study were to learn more about breakfast consumers' habits and attitudes and define opportunities specifically for protein-enhanced breakfast foods.

"Our research revealed that protein-enhanced foods could be positioned to address a broad range of consumer needs that are shared commonly across rather large segments of the population," said Jean Heggie, Solae director of marketing. "In our study, consumers' desires for breakfast foods that will 'fill them up' and 'keep them energized' are two of the more significant opportunities we uncovered."

For instance, 79 percent of consumers in the study either "agreed strongly/somewhat" to the statement, "Foods and beverages that help maintain my energy levels throughout the morning are important to me." Sixty-six percent "agreed strongly/somewhat" to the statement, "The most important benefit I look for in my breakfast choices are foods that will 'fill me up' and hold me over until lunch."

When it came to their children, beliefs around the importance of foods that will "stick with them" was even greater -- with 92 percent of parents "agreeing strongly/somewhat" that this was an important attribute of breakfast choices they made for their children.

"The relevance of soy protein, in particular to these needs, is its ability to deliver sustained energy and satiety benefits as a high-quality, plant-based protein," Heggie said. "Consumers seeking the benefits of protein in the morning want to get those benefits in a low-fat, natural and convenient format. Soy protein fits well in foods and beverages designed to deliver on those attributes."

Solae's study also sought to define unique segments of breakfast consumers and the lifestyle factors and attitudes that shaped those segments' choices and decisions.

"Our segmentation analysis revealed six distinct segments of breakfast consumers," Heggie said. "Each segment presents unique opportunities for food marketers to position the benefits of protein and has implications for product design and execution."

In Solae's survey, the six breakfast consumer segments identified were:

--  On-the-run eaters (20 percent) -- often eat breakfast in the car, on
    the way to work or when they arrive at work;
--  Snackers (18 percent) -- routinely choose morning snacks to hold them
    over until lunch;
--  Guilt avoiders (17 percent) -- make healthier choices for breakfast so
    as to accommodate later-day indulgences;
--  Mood and productivity concerned (15 percent) -- feel strongly that
    productivity or mood is impacted when energy levels fade;
--  Nutrition seekers (15 percent) -- routinely strive to make healthy
    breakfast choices as part of an overall wellness-centered lifestyle;
--  Energy/Jump-start seekers (15 percent) -- seek foods and beverages
    that will wake them up and get them going in the morning.
    

The survey also found that marketers can capitalize on pre-existing consumer knowledge and understanding of the benefits of protein.

"This research supports previous Solae research indicating consumers' knowledge and understanding of the benefits of protein is ever-expanding," Heggie noted. "There is already widespread understanding and appreciation for the benefits of protein among consumers today. However, there remains opportunity to educate consumers about benefits of specific protein sources.

"When asked on an unaided basis to list the benefits of consuming protein, the study found that consumers equate protein with energy and stamina, muscle and body growth, and hunger management and satiety benefits. Those answers are consistent with past research on protein awareness."

This research project also explored specific product concepts and provided a more in-depth profile of each of the consumer segments. It is part of Solae's ongoing efforts to define consumer-based opportunities for its soy-based ingredients and assist food marketers in discovering new market and positioning opportunities. For more detailed findings or information about this study, contact Solae at 800-325-7108, ext. 3193 or e-mail skramer@solae.com.

Solae is the world leader in developing innovative soy-based technology to the food, meat and nutritional products industries. Solae provides solutions that deliver a unique combination of functional, nutritional and economic benefits to our customers.

At Solae, the journey to innovation begins with nature. We take one of nature's best resources, the soybean, and create nutritious and great-tasting ingredients. Our goal is to provide solutions for today while innovating for tomorrow. With more than 1,000 products used by more than 3,500 customers, Solae's soy ingredients are enjoyed by consumers around the world in products such as baked goods, beverages, nutrition bars, meats, vegetarian meals and much more.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, the company was formed through an alliance between Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG) and DuPont (NYSE: DD). For more information, visit www.solae.com.

Contact Information