The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by convenience, environmental sustainability, aesthetics, and the growing importance of food safety and transparency, personalized nutrition, and digital food management technologies. In the last three years alone, there have been over 662,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in consumer: dairy protein compositions. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

30+ innovations will shape the consumer industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 116,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, microencapsulated proteins, plant-based cheese substitutes, and texturized vegetable proteins are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Botulinum toxin, beverage pods, and filled confectionary manufacturing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are anabolic muscle supplements and protein-fortified beverages, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry

Dairy protein compositions is a key innovation area in consumer

Dairy protein compositions refer to the use of specific strains of bacteria or proteins derived from milk to create various dairy-based food and nutritional products. These compositions are commonly used to improve the health benefits of these products, enhance their taste and texture, and prolong their shelf life.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 120+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of dairy protein compositions.

Key players in dairy protein compositions – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to dairy protein compositions

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Danone 488 Unlock Company Profile
Nestle 329 Unlock Company Profile
Chr. Hansen 312 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 171 Unlock Company Profile
Reckitt Benckiser Group 132 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 114 Unlock Company Profile
Morinaga Milk Industry 113 Unlock Company Profile
Meiji 88 Unlock Company Profile
Prolacta Bioscience 81 Unlock Company Profile
Kraft Heinz 76 Unlock Company Profile
DuPont de Nemours 64 Unlock Company Profile
Yakult Honsha 60 Unlock Company Profile
Megmilk Snow Brand 52 Unlock Company Profile
Royal FrieslandCampina 35 Unlock Company Profile
a2 Milk 34 Unlock Company Profile
Archer Daniels Midland 32 Unlock Company Profile
Procter & Gamble 32 Unlock Company Profile
Valio 31 Unlock Company Profile
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group 30 Unlock Company Profile
Symrise 30 Unlock Company Profile
Fonterra Co-operative Group 28 Unlock Company Profile
Precigen 27 Unlock Company Profile
By-health 26 Unlock Company Profile
glac Biotech 23 Unlock Company Profile
Centro de Investigacion en Alimentacion y Desarrollo AC 23 Unlock Company Profile
Kotobuki Realty 23 Unlock Company Profile
Royal DSM 22 Unlock Company Profile
Genome 22 Unlock Company Profile
Kerry Group 22 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Group 20 Unlock Company Profile
BioGaia 19 Unlock Company Profile
COFCO 19 Unlock Company Profile
Eurolactis Group 18 Unlock Company Profile
International Research Council 17 Unlock Company Profile
Geo-Poland 17 Unlock Company Profile
Dairy A Day 17 Unlock Company Profile
INGREDIA 16 Unlock Company Profile
NVP Healthcare 15 Unlock Company Profile
Mars 14 Unlock Company Profile
RNA Medical 14 Unlock Company Profile
Theca-Cola 13 Unlock Company Profile
CJ 12 Unlock Company Profile
Bright Dairy & Food 11 Unlock Company Profile
Teagasc 11 Unlock Company Profile
Roquette Freres 11 Unlock Company Profile
Synbio Tech 11 Unlock Company Profile
ActogeniX 9 Unlock Company Profile
Givaudan 9 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Sanyuan Foods 9 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Danone is one of the leading patent filers in dairy protein compositions. Some other key patent filers in the space include Nestlé, Chr. Hansen, and Abbott Laboratories. Danone has introduced a novel infant formula that combines elements from both plants and dairy. The product combines dairy and plant components to create a baby food that is purported to offer comprehensive nutrition, while also boasting a 30% lower carbon footprint compared to alternative powdered formulas.

In terms of application diversity, Precigen and ActogeniX lead the pack, with Genome and Geo-Poland in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, The a2 Milk Company holds the top position, followed by Precigen and Centro de Investigacion en Alimentacion y Desarrollo.

The food industry will increasingly adopt dairy protein compositions as numerous players in the sector strive to enhance the health advantages of dairy items, elevate their flavor and consistency, and extend their shelf life.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.

Data Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.