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J Food Sci. 2015 Jun;80(6):S1383-90. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12877. Epub 2015 May 5.

Identifying Key Attributes for Protein Beverages.

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Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State Univ, Raleigh, NC, 27695, U.S.A.
Nouveau Centric Co. Ltd, Bangkok, 10250, Thailand.
Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, 83301, U.S.A.


This study identified key attributes of protein beverages and evaluated effects of priming on liking of protein beverages. An adaptive choice-based conjoint study was conducted along with Kano analysis to gain insight on protein beverage consumers (n = 432). Attributes evaluated included label claim, protein type, amount of protein, carbohydrates, sweeteners, and metabolic benefits. Utility scores for levels and importance scores for attributes were determined. Subsequently, two pairs of clear acidic whey protein beverages were manufactured that differed by age of protein source or the amount of whey protein per serving. Beverages were evaluated by 151 consumers on two occasions with or without priming statements. One priming statement declared "great flavor," the other priming statement declared 20 g protein per serving. A two way analysis of variance was applied to discern the role of each priming statement. The most important attribute for protein beverages was sweetener type, followed by amount of protein, followed by type of protein followed by label claim. Beverages with whey protein, naturally sweetened, reduced sugar and ≥15 g protein per serving were most desired. Three consumer clusters were identified, differentiated by their preferences for protein type, sweetener and amount of protein. Priming statements positively impacted concept liking (P < 0.05) but had no effect on overall liking (P > 0.05). Consistent with trained panel profiles of increased cardboard flavor with higher protein content, consumers liked beverages with 10 g protein more than beverages with 20 g protein (6.8 compared with 5.7, P < 0.05). Protein beverages must have desirable flavor for wide consumer appeal.


Kano; conjoint; consumer preference; priming; protein beverages

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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