The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by amplified health awareness, guided nutrition, and wellbeing and growing importance of technologies such as fortified whey compositions, personalized nutrition, and alternative proteins. 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: protein-fortified beverages. Buy the report here.

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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

Protein-fortified beverages is a key innovation area in consumer

Protein-fortified beverages are drinks to which proteins are deliberately added by manufacturers. Consumers choose such beverages to minimize their protein deficiency. For busy consumers, who often lack time for meals, the consumption of protein-fortified beverages is a suitable way to meet their daily protein needs on the go. These beverages help athletes and fitness enthusiasts in muscle recovery. Whey and soy are the two most popular proteins used in beverages.

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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of protein-fortified beverages.

Key players in protein-fortified beverages – 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 protein-fortified beverages

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Givaudan 101 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 59 Unlock Company Profile
DuPont de Nemours 58 Unlock Company Profile
Otsuka 49 Unlock Company Profile
Raisio 47 Unlock Company Profile
Fuji Oil 47 Unlock Company Profile
J.M. Huber 38 Unlock Company Profile
Royal DSM 37 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 36 Unlock Company Profile
Delek Group 28 Unlock Company Profile
JS Global Lifestyle 26 Unlock Company Profile
Danone 26 Unlock Company Profile
Nestle 25 Unlock Company Profile
FMC 20 Unlock Company Profile
Symrise 19 Unlock Company Profile
Amano Enzyme 19 Unlock Company Profile
Chr. Hansen 18 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Xinbao Electrical Appliances 18 Unlock Company Profile
Unilever 17 Unlock Company Profile
Kikkoman 16 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 14 Unlock Company Profile
AB Biotek 13 Unlock Company Profile
CJ 13 Unlock Company Profile
nextProtein 12 Unlock Company Profile
PepsiCo 12 Unlock Company Profile
Groupe SEB 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hanmi Science 11 Unlock Company Profile
Marubeni 10 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 9 Unlock Company Profile
Nagase 9 Unlock Company Profile
Riken Vitamin 9 Unlock Company Profile
House Foods Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Liquats Vegetals 8 Unlock Company Profile
CSM Bakery Solutions Europe 8 Unlock Company Profile
Heliae Development 7 Unlock Company Profile
Shin-Etsu Chemical 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nisshin Seifun Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Adeka 6 Unlock Company Profile
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Wittington Investments 6 Unlock Company Profile
Kraft Heinz 6 Unlock Company Profile
Fuji Oil 5 Unlock Company Profile
Theca-Cola 5 Unlock Company Profile
Corteva 5 Unlock Company Profile
Royal FrieslandCampina 5 Unlock Company Profile
Government of South Korea 5 Unlock Company Profile
Minami Sangyo 5 Unlock Company Profile
AGV PRODUCTS 4 Unlock Company Profile
Nutrimentos Inteligentes 4 Unlock Company Profile
Dohler 4 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

The leading companies in the protein-fortified beverages space in terms of patents filed are Givaudan, Koninklijke Philips, DuPont de Nemours, Otsuka, and Raisiol. In July 2023, Givaudan enhanced its capabilities at its protein hub at its Zurich innovation center located in Kemptthal, Switzerland. The company aims to support the product development of milk alternatives.

In terms of application diversity, Symrise is the leading company in this space, while FMC and AGV Products stood in the second and third positions, respectively

By means of geographic reach J.M. Huber leads the pack, followed by Guangdong Xinbao Electrical Appliances and Chr. Hansen.

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

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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.