“There is a need for plant-based proteins as many companies are looking to replace soy because its price has fluctuated quite a bit,” said David Janow, CEO of Axiom Foods.
“The general consensus is that the price of whey protein, too, is going to increase.”
Axiom Foods' sister company, Growing Naturals, sells packaged rice and pea protein products directly to consumers.
Advantages for baked goods
Janow said rice proteins has many advantages.
“It’s clean label, gluten-free and non-GMO,” he said.
“The biggest challenge for us is to advise CPG companies that plant-based proteins could work with their applications,” he added, noting that rice protein can improve the chewiness of baked products, like cookies and crackers.
Within the bakery category, pizzas, bagels and cereals in particular have seen the largest demand for plant-based proteins.
Janow said that currently only 5%-10% of the company's customers are bakers, “but that segment is expected to grow to 20% in the next few years.”
He forecasts the company's bakery customers to contribute around $20m to its overall $150m in sales by the end of 2017.
Axion Foods will be launching hemp protein later this year.