COVID-19 Spiked Demand for High-Protein Whey, but is Growth Sustainable?
By Tanner Ehmke
February 28, 2022
- The COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered the global whey market as health-conscious consumers’ demand for whey protein products surged alongside other nutritional supplements.
- Despite record cheese production in the U.S., the global market is short on whey products as global demand for protein accelerates.
- High-protein whey products like WPC-80 and WPI now command significant price premiums with the rapid increase in demand, making whey a more valued co-product for processors rather than a byproduct.
- However, in the long term, high-protein products like WPC-80 and WPI will become increasingly commoditized as processors shift production focus. Further-processed fractionated whey protein products are expected to become bigger value-drivers of the whey stream.
- High-protein whey products come with risks of increased price volatility inherent to niche and diverse product mixes and limited market players. To adequately meet the growing demand while covering this risk, dairy processors must invest in processing technologies that enable them to quickly adjust to market volatility.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this report is not intended to be investment, tax, or legal advice and should not be relied upon by recipients for such purposes. The information contained in this report has been compiled from what CoBank regards as reliable sources. However, CoBank does not make any representation or warranty regarding the content, and disclaims any responsibility for the information, materials, third-party opinions, and data included in this report. In no event will CoBank be liable for any decision made or actions taken by any person or persons relying on the information contained in this report.
Stay ahead of the game in your field. Subscribe today.
Get CoBank's industry-leading Knowledge Exchange research reports delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they're released.
Have a comment or question about these reports?
Contact CoBank's Knowledge Exchange team to ask questions, engage with analysts or receive additional information.