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Whey Protein Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Isolates, Concentrates, Others), Application (Food and Beverages, Animal Feed, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: May 28, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI106555



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The global whey protein market size was USD 11.79 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 12.64 billion in 2024 to USD 22.63 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a higher growth of 7.07% in 2020 as compared to 2019.

The global market is projected to be driven by the ascending product demand due to increasing consumer awareness regarding a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle. In addition, growing innovation in manufacturing proteins that possess a broad range of amino acids and perform distinct functions, including weight loss, energy balance, muscle repair, and satiety by different manufacturers is expected to make immense market potential.

The outbreak of COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020 has severely hit the market, which led to disruption in the supply chain. The whey protein market growth is quickly reaching its pre-COVID-19 levels. A healthy growth rate is anticipated over the coming years, driven by the V-shaped recovery in most emerging countries. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased awareness among individuals for health and well-being and a healthy lifestyle induced with a healthy diet and schedule. The increasing participation of individuals in outdoor sports and recreational activities, especially among the geriatric and young age group in countries, such as the U.S., Germany, Japan, and others, has been one of the significant factors fueling the demand for protein and protein-induced products. In addition, the ever-increasing social media reach and expansion has contributed to increasing awareness related to protein consumption and healthy diet. Thus, the increasing awareness related to a healthy lifestyle, increasing recreational and outdoor sports participation, and rising protein consumption among the geriatric age group are driving the global market growth.

Whey Protein Market Trends

Growth of Premium Products Across Personal Care Industry to Facilitate Industry Growth

Increasing consumer inclination for premium personal care based on herbal and natural ingredients is expected to accelerate the demand for whey protein ingredients in personal care & cosmetics applications. Furthermore, the personal care & cosmetics market has experienced a promising trend in the recent past. The skincare products market has witnessed an upsurge in demand, especially facial care products. The demand for premium and high-end personal care and cosmetics product is likely to rise over the forecast period. Growing hygiene awareness and beauty consciousness among consumers was the key trend witnessed in the personal care & cosmetics industry. Increasing expenditure on high-quality products among urban consumers has bolstered the demand in the personal care industry in the past few years. Rising disposable income coupled with mounting brand awareness has motivated the critical producers of personal care & cosmetics products to strengthen their global presence.

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Whey Protein Market Growth Factors

Growing Consumer Preference of High Protein Diet to Propel Market Growth

The consumption of protein-rich diets has remarkably increased over the past few years due to rising health awareness among consumers worldwide. With increasingly busier lifestyles, consumers cannot consume a nutritionally rich complete diet regularly, which prompts them to seek nutrients from packaged food products. Therefore, packaged food manufacturers fortify food products with nutritious ingredients, including protein ingredients. Growing incidences of chronic illnesses owing to altering lifestyles and increasing fitness trends, especially among the millennial population, are the critical factors driving the adoption of protein-rich diets. Furthermore, child malnutrition is a prevalent issue in African countries, primarily caused by protein deficiency. Therefore, higher emphasis on a protein-rich diet is being given in African countries, which, in turn, is expected to drive the demand for protein-rich ingredients such as soy, pea, and canola.

Increasing Demand for Sports Nutrition Supplements to Fuel Industry Development

Sports nutrition involves the consumption of nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, supplements, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and organic substances. Sports nutritional products consist of sports beverages, sports supplements, and sports foods targeted at the strength and endurance of athletes and bodybuilders to increase their overall performance, enhance stamina, promote muscle growth, and improve health. Protein consumption is a critical component in overall sports nutrition. Protein is predominantly consumed in pre-workout and post-workout diets and is mainly aimed at muscle building, endurance support, and weight gain. Athletes, sports persons majorly consume protein in the form of powder, and gym enthusiasts owing to its ease of transportation and handling; long shelf life; highly concentrated form; and convenience of mixing with beverages such as water and milk.


Rising Demand for Plant-Based Protein to Hinder Market Growth

The global demand for plant proteins is being driven by ascending product demand owing to growing consumer awareness about consuming a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle. In addition, rising innovations in the manufacturing of proteins that contain a broad range of amino acids and perform specific functions, including energy balance, weight loss, muscle repair, and satiety, by various manufacturers, is creating the immense market potential for plant proteins. Thus, it is directly substituting animal protein products, thus hindering the growth of the protein market. Plant-based proteins, such as soy, pea, wheat, rice, algae, and hemp, among others, have been generating considerable traction in the past few years. Growing demand for clean-label food and cosmetics products, coupled with the growing vegan population in European countries, primarily due to environmental and health reasons, is mainly driving the demand for plant-based proteins. The vegan population especially opts for products fortified with plant-based proteins to fulfill their protein requirements, thereby eliminating animal proteins such as whey.

Whey Protein Market Segmentation Analysis

By Type Analysis

Concentrates Sector to hold Significant Whey Protein Market Share due to Growing Utilization in Varied Food Applications

Whey protein concentrates are a group of proteins that remain soluble in the whey after the precipitation of casein at pH 4.6 and temperature 20°C. These concentrates are a heterogeneous collection of dissimilar proteins and contain lipids, lactose, and minerals. Whey is mainly the water-like substance obtained during cheese production and is referred to as sweet whey. Whey protein concentrates are used in multiple applications, including manufacturing beverages, dairy desserts, and yogurt products.

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Moreover, these concentrates are employed as a source of protein fortification for nutritional and infant food products. Whey protein concentrates exhibit gelling property when dissolved in water and heated. This property is highly beneficial for meat-based food applications.

By Application Analysis

Food and Beverage Sector to hold Largest Market Share due to Wide Product Utility in Varied Applications

Whey proteins are increasingly being incorporated into various food & beverage applications such as dairy, bakery, energy drinks, and confectionery products, owing to their health benefits. The food & beverage industry consists of a wide product portfolio. The food industry comprises food additives, consumer food, nutraceutical supplements, animal feed, alcoholic drinks, aerated drinks, non-alcoholic drinks, and juices or health drinks. Therefore, the growing demand for whey protein products due to their several properties, including their ability to act as a stabilizing agent, flavor enhancer, and emulsifying salt in the food & beverage sector is anticipated to stimulate the market over the forecast period.


North America to Exhibit Highest Market Share on Account of Rising Awareness Regarding Consumption of Nutritional Products

Growing health awareness coupled with rising consumer concerns regarding daily protein intake is anticipated to surge the demand for whey protein powders in North America. Protein powders' convenience and easy usability for creating protein shakes or blending them with several food products to suit changing consumer tastes and preferences are anticipated to surge the product demand.

North America Whey Protein Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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The Europe market is expected to show a reasonable growth over the forecast period due to several factors such as rising emphasis on healthy living, increasing trend of preventive health care, and growing demand for protein supplements from the U.K., Germany, and France. Increasing the use of protein products in synthetic and naturally derived personal care products is expected to positively influence its market in the next few years. In addition, the growing number of food processing industries in the country has led to large imports of animal proteins, particularly whey type of protein in the past few years. The trend is anticipated to continue over the projected period.

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Asia Pacific is expected to register the fastest growth due to increasing exports and domestic demand for dairy-based protein ingredients such as casein and whey. The rising geriatric population and continually changing climate conditions in emerging countries, such as Australia and India, have raised concerns for skin problems, which are expected to drive personal care product demand and likely augment the market growth over the forecast period.

The growing personal care industry in Central & South America is expected to force FMCG companies to increase their production capacity. Thus, increasing production of personal care products in Central & South America is anticipated to motivate the growth of the protein market over the next few years.

List of Key Companies in Whey Protein Market

Companies Focus on Expanding their Production Capacity to Meet Global Demand

The whey protein market is consolidated due to limited number of established and regional market players. Key players in the market include Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc., Saputo Inc., Glanbia plc, Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd, Arla foods, Apavit, Wheyco GmbH, Milk Specialties, Carbery Group, LACTALIS, Olam International Ltd, Davisco, Milkaut, Leprino Food Country, and Maple Island Inc. These players are focusing to increase their production capacity to meet the global demand.


  • Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. (U.S.)

  • Saputo Inc. (Canada)

  • Glanbia plc (Ireland)

  • Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd. (New Zealand)

  • Arla Foods (Denmark)

  • Alpavit (Germany)

  • Wheyco GmbH (Germany)

  • Milk Specialties (U.S.)

  • Carbery Group (Ireland)

  • LACTALIS Ingredients (France)


  • November 2023: FrieslandCampina Ingredients, a leading global protein supplier, announced the launch of Nutri Whey ProHeat. The company's new ingredient is microparticulated and heat-stable, designed for the medical nutrition market.

  • January 2023: Molvest Group announced the launch of its all-new milk protein concentrate manufacturing plant in Russia to cut down on import dependency.

  • June 2022: Fonterra's NZMP announced the launch of Grade A whey protein concentrate to cater to the increasing opportunity in the cultured dairy industry.

  • November 2021: Arla Foods unveiled a five-year strategy to cement its commitment to create environmentally sustainable dairy production and grow the business responsibly. One strategy is investing in its global specialized, high-quality milk and whey ingredients business.

  • May 2021: Saputo Inc. announced two strategic acquisitions in the dairy alternatives and value-added ingredients segments, representing a combined investment of about USD 146.94 million. Moreover, the company acquired the Reedsburg facility of Wisconsin Specialty Protein, LLC. This production facility is located in Wisconsin, U.S. It produces value-added ingredients such as organic lactose, goat whey, and other dairy powders.


The global market report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the market size and growth rate for all possible segments in the market. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of related markets, recent industry developments, such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key market trends.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 7.5% from 2024 to 2032


Value (USD Billion)












By Type

  • Isolates

  • Concentrates

  • Others

By Application

  • Food and Beverages

  • Animal Feed

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

  • Europe (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • Russia (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Australia (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • South America (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Argentina (By Application)

    • Rest of South America (By Application)

  • Middle East and Africa (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • UAE (By Application)

    • Rest of ME&A (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 11.79 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 22.63 billion by 2032.

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period.

The food and beverages segment is expected to be the leading segment based on type in the global market during the forecast period.

Increasing preference of high protein diet drives the market growth.

Saputo Inc., Glanbia plc, Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd, Arla Foods, Apavit, Wheyco GmbH, Milk Specialties, and Carbery Group are the leading players in the market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2023.

Based on type, the concentrates segment is set to lead the global market.

The growth of premium products across the personal care industry is expected to meet the global demand.

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