Hemp finding new customers as a source of alternative protein

In addition to its seed, hemp is grown for use in protein powders and other dietary supplements.  |  File photo
It’s a good time to be an alternative protein.
A reputation for being “overall wholesome” is also helping hemp products find a hungry market, a consumer market analyst told the Canadian Hemp Trade Association annual convention Nov. 18.
“We are seeing an increasing number of consumers who are looking for an alternative source of protein,” Svetlana Uduslivaia of Euromonitor International said.
Hemp has multiple human food uses, including protein powders, protein meal, dietary supplements, functional foods and healthy-seeming foods.
The crop is still an infant food industry in North America, after being legalized and adequately regulated in the late-1990s. However, it is appearing in an increasing number of human food and nutritional products.
Uduslivaia said hemp is well-positioned to grow.
Hemp protein, pea protein and brown rice protein have found a growing demand in the protein products area, which was once dominated by men and weight lifters. The revival of protein as a positive food element has allowed its market to expand beyond muscle-focused men to include young, health-conscious women.
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