A world beyond whey

The premium pea and rice blend

The first option brands can consider is to improve the provenance or perceived quality of the pea and rice protein. This is based on whether it is fermented and/or sprouted - see [Amazonia](https://www.amazonia.com/collections/proteins).

The more diverse (and premium) plant-based blend

The second option that a brand can consider is to include a broader spectrum of new or interesting plant-based protein sources into the blend.

[Ghost](https://www.ghostlifestyle.com/products/ghost-vegan?variant=31816012955722) use pumpkin protein and sunflower seed protein, albeit the primary ingredient is pea protein [Ringana](https://www.ringana.com/product-information/?id=48675&backgroundColor=e8edef) use sunflower seed protein as the primary protein source followed by rice and pea Rawsport complement pea protein with quinoa protein [Vivolife](https://www.vivolife.co.uk/products/whole) include ‘cold pressed’ hemp and quinoa protein in combination with pea protein [Self](https://www.self.nu/products/vegan-protein) use oat protein as the primary source, coupled with rice, in addition to hemp and flax seed protein

The next hero protein source

Currently, plant-based protein powders are predominantly blends – or certainly the hero products are. Pea protein is frequently sold just like whey protein. However, very few ‘newer’ sources are sold individually. A few that exist are spirulina (see [Myprotein](https://www.myvegan.com/sports-nutrition/organic-spirulina-powder/11355189.html)), sunflower seed (see [Clearspring](https://www.clearspring.co.uk/products/organic-raw-100-european-sunflower-seed-protein-powder)) and Fava bean (see [Pulsin](https://www.pulsin.co.uk/shop-by-range/protein-powders/protein-powders-vegan-protein/faba-bean-protein-powder/)).

Interestingly, these protein sources are more so sold as natural or unflavoured for use in smoothies or other recipes. They don’t taste or flavour well.

Currently, the dynamic of the plant-based protein category doesn’t play out quite the same as the dairy protein category. Products are hero’d more by blends than a particular protein source per se (e.g., whey protein). However, that is not to say it won’t happen.

So What?

Put simply, brands are looking to differentiate and premiumise their plant-based protein powders. In order to come up with the next big protein source or product that will interrupt the market, brands must have an understanding of each protein source (amino acid profile, price, why it is interesting or beneficial to the consumer), develop a creative concept and the blueprint behind it that will support the manufacturing, sales, and success of the product.