Plant proteins to support sustainable food systems

Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular across Europe, as consumers make more sustainability-conscious and health-driven decisions. This shift in dietary patterns is often driven by the fact that plant-based proteins have a favourable environmental profile, with a carbon footprint up to 80 times lower than animal-based proteins.

Plant-based protein products already have several innovative applications, from sport nutrition to food for the elderly, and even in patients’ diets. Plant proteins are also a key nutritional building block in Herbalife meal replacements and protein shakes, and they can play a major role in feeding the world’s growing population in the coming decades. In 2020, for instance, approximately 24.6 million units of Herbalife Nutrition shakes were sold in EMEA (nearly 11 million units in the EU): in total 90% of these were made with soy protein whilst 10% with pea protein.

As a global nutrition company, Herbalife Nutrition is committed to positively reducing the environmental impact of its food systems, improving people’s health and meeting consumers’ dietary and cultural preferences. As such, the company continues to invest in the development of new plant proteins. Soy protein in particular is a well-researched nutritional ingredient that is safe when used as directed by healthy consumers. In particular, plant-based diets boast many health benefits, like being higher in fibre, vitamins and minerals and lower in fat. New scientific studies show that people who follow plant-based diets generally consume fewer calories and less fat, weigh less and have a lower risk of heart disease than meat eaters. The nutrients and phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables, beans and soy may also help improve the immune system and protect consumers against chronic diseases.

Herbalife Nutrition primarily uses soy and pea protein because both are sustainable sources of natural protein.

However, the company also continues to develop innovative products which blend different plant-proteins to provide a full range of nutrients that can replicate those of milk, without relying solely on soy. In collaboration with Wageningen University & Research, Herbalife Nutrition launched in 2019 a new product, ‘Tri Blend Select’ – the company’s first clean label, vegan protein shake – made of pea, quinoa, rice and flaxseed protein and containing all the necessary amino acids, based on the highest WHO scientific standard.

The importance of a complete protein blend is fundamental in human nutrition and it is Herbalife’s ambition to offer nutritionally accepted alternatives that can compete with animal-based protein, while delivering better health and environmental benefits in the long term.

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times lower
carbon footprint profile of plant-based versus animal-based proteins

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