From fitness essential to market boom: the Whey Protein phenomenon

MARKET TREND | 11 April 2024

Whey protein represents an essential pillar in the world of fitness and sports nutrition. Extracted during the cheese-making process, these proteins offer a wide range of benefits that make them crucial for those aiming to improve their physical performance and overall well-being.

Varieties of Whey Proteins: isolate, concentrate, and hydrolyzed

The three main types of whey protein are whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), and hydrolyzed whey protein (WPH). These types differ in terms of protein content and the way they are processed:

  • Whey Protein Isolate (WPI): this type undergoes further processing to increase the concentration of protein and remove most of the fat and sugar. This results in a higher protein content, typically 90% or higher. However, this processing may break down some of the amino acids and make them more difficult for the body to digest;
  • Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC): this type has a protein content that can range from 34% to 80%, with most commonly 80%. It contains slightly higher fat and lactose than whey isolate. The higher fat content in WPC provides beneficial nutrients that support healthy immune and cardiovascular function. Whey protein concentrates are generally cheaper than isolates and offer a balanced option for those desiring a complete protein intake;
  • Hydrolyzed Whey Protein (WPH): this type is further processed using heat, acid, enzymes, or a combination to break down some of the bonds holding the amino acids together. This allows for rapid absorption by the body. However, the increase in price is marginal compared to the slight improvement in absorption, and the processing may make it more bitter, requiring additional flavorings and additives.

In addition to these three main types, there is also a type called “milk protein,” which is a blend of whey and casein, either in the concentrate or isolate variety. This type provides a mix of fast- and slow-digesting proteins, but the specific blend is not always clearly stated, making it difficult to assess the actual quality of the protein source.

13 reasons to consume Whey Protein: the secret to optimal well-being

Proteins are essential for a balanced diet and to support an active and healthy lifestyle. Among the various protein sources available on the market, whey protein stands out for its effectiveness and versatility. But what are exactly the benefits of consuming whey protein? Let’s discover together the 13 reasons that make this choice so advantageous:

  1. Complete amino acid profile: whey protein contains all nine essential amino acids, which the human body cannot produce independently and must therefore be obtained through diet;
  2. Easy absorption: whey protein is digested and absorbed rapidly by the body, providing a quick release of amino acids into the bloodstream;
  3. Muscle building and maintenance: whey protein provides the necessary building blocks for muscle protein synthesis, promoting muscle growth and recovery after physical exercise;
  4. Weight management: it can promote weight maintenance and weight loss by promoting a sense of fullness and supporting muscle mass, essential for a healthy metabolism;
  5. Support for fat loss: consuming whey protein can contribute to increasing metabolism and promoting body fat loss, while preserving muscle mass;
  6. Improved strength and athletic performance: regular consumption of whey protein, combined with physical exercise, can improve muscle strength and athletic performance;
  7. Tissue repair: whey protein is essential for the repair and regeneration of muscle tissues, improving recovery after training and reducing the risk of injuries;
  8. Cortisol reduction: the consumption of whey protein can help reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone, promoting better recovery and overall well-being;
  9. Inflammation reduction: whey protein can contribute to reducing inflammation, associated with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
  10. Healthy bones and muscles: it supports bone health and muscle function due to its high-quality protein content;
  11. Nutrient intake: it can improve the overall nutritional content of the diet and support the immune system;
  12. Various consumption options: whey protein is available in various forms, including powder, bars, and beverages, offering a wide range of options to suit individual preferences;
  13. Versatility in cooking: whey protein powder can be easily added to smoothies, pancakes, yogurt, and other recipes, increasing the protein content without compromising taste.

For those looking to maximize the benefits of whey protein, supplements are a convenient and highly effective solution. Companies like 13:e Protein offer a variety of options for whey protein-based supplements, designed to meet the needs of different people, from classic powder proteins to delicious ready-to-consume shakes.

Market projections and growth of Whey Proteins

The global whey protein market is experiencing significant growth, driven by several factors, including the increasing demand for functional foods and beverages, rising awareness about the health benefits of whey protein, and the trend towards high-protein and low-fat weight management products. The size of the whey protein market is estimated to be $2.32 billion in 2024 and is projected to reach $2.91 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 4.67% during the forecast period (2024-2029).

Whey protein concentrate (WPC) is the largest market segment by form due to lower costs and a wide range of benefits, such as high bioavailability, BCAA, and high glutamine content, thus increasing demand in the F&B and supplement segments.

The whey protein hydrolyzed (WPH) segment represents the fastest-growing market by form with a compound annual growth rate of 6.27% for the period 2024-2029. This rise depends on the lower cost and popularity they are gaining among global manufacturers seeking to make a low-cost product that appeals to a wider audience.

The whey protein isolate (WPI) segment is also expected to grow, driven by consumer preferences for incorporating proteins in regular foods and rising demand for high-protein and low-fat weight management products.

Considering the fastest-growing end-user market, the supplement market is becoming the fastest-growing segment, with a CAGR of 5.95 percent for the period 2024-2029, due to growing awareness of its benefits in helping athletes build lean bodies and reducing the risk of gastrointestinal disease in infants.

The sports nutrition segment is a significant application area for whey protein, with a high revenue share in the global market. Whey protein is widely used in various food and beverage applications, such as bakery, dairy, confectionery, and energy drinks, due to its health benefits and functional properties.


In conclusion, whey proteins represent a versatile and highly effective nutritional choice for those aiming to optimize their physical performance and overall well-being. With a wide range of variants available and continuous market growth, whey proteins remain a fundamental element in the diet of athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and active individuals of all fitness levels.

Fuel your success with the power of Whey Protein!

Let 13:e Protein be your trusted partner in launching your custom supplement brand. Choose quality and innovation to stand out in the marketplace. It’s time to turn your vision into a winning reality. Contact us today!


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5. Verywell Health, Everything You Need to Know About Whey Protein,
6. WebMD, Whey Protein-Uses, Side Effects, and More,

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