Despite the growing trend of protein-enriched foods, 80% of UAE residents claim that they do not reach the daily intake of protein.
The finding was revealed in a new survey conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Arla Foods, in an effort to better understand consumers’ attitudes towards protein and drive awareness around the importance of a protein-rich diet.
The research also found that there is a need to educate consumers on the many benefits of protein. While protein is a vital component of every cell in the human body and essential for general health and wellbeing, only 31% of residents claim to consume it for the purpose of maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet. Other major motivating factors include sustaining energy levels (22%) and weight management (17%).
Highlighting the misconceptions around protein, almost half (43%) of those surveyed believe that it is primarily for fitness enthusiasts and muscle-building.
Less than 20% of consumers feel that protein is essential for people juggling hectic lives with daily office work or household chores and only 29% felt protein is also needed by teenagers and university students.
It was also found that in the UAE, majority of residents tend to rely on meat as a source of protein, however it’s important to note that natural dairy, legumes and grains are also high-quality protein rich foods.
Speaking about the research Emilien Rouy, nutrition scientist, Arla Foods said, “In recent years, protein-rich foods have become increasingly prevalent yet the research shows a nutritional knowledge gap. This may explain why such a huge percentage of the population claim that they are not reaching the protein reference intake on a daily basis. Protein is a source of energy, but is also, and more importantly, an essential building block of the body. It is essential to consume protein throughout our life cycle as people at different stages in their life benefit from protein in different ways.
“At Arla, we are committed to supporting and enabling healthy and balanced lifestyles through awareness, education and our portfolio of quality dairy products. Arla Protein chocolate flavoured milk is a natural, convenient and delicious way to have a protein-rich snack.”
Arla Protein contains 13g of protein per 250ml serving and 25g per 470ml bottle. Arla Protein chocolate flavoured drinking milk has been launched in the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain in regular and reduced sugar variants, with Saudi Arabia launching later this year.